AP firm launches vaccine for JE

The question of preventing the deadly Japanese Encephalitis (JE) might have a safe answer now as a city-based biological products company Biological E. Limited has launched an inactivated vaccine for the disease.
The liquid form vaccine that will be available in the private market is the first indigenously manufactured vaccine in the country.
Japanese Encephalitis is a disease that affects the brain and has a high mortality and morbidity rate. The disease is endemic in about 170 districts in 19 states.
According to the ministry of health and family welfare, there were 8,249 cases of JE in 2011 with 1,169 deaths. There is no specific treatment available for the disease and only one vaccine is available that is a live attenuated one and is imported by the government from China.
The vaccine, named Jeev by the company, is a second generation vaccine which needs to be taken in two doses four weeks apart. The technology for the vaccine has been in use in several countries in Europe and Americas and it has been indigenised by the company and is being manufactured here.
Mahima Datla, senior V-P (operations), said the vaccine has an efficacy of around 92 per cent, determined in clinical trials. “It is a highly purified inactivate vaccine. The technology involved in manufacturing this vaccine is a lot more complex that involves killing the virus without losing its qualities,” she told presspersons.
Inactivate vaccines are far safer when compared to live attenuated vaccines because the micro-organism is killed in case of the inactivated vaccine. Basic technology for the vaccine was provided by another company Intercell. Jeev has been licensed by the Drug Controller General of India. The basic technology has also been licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Ray Prasad, chief operating officer, said trials were conducted on about 300 persons from the state and about 2,000 persons all over the country.

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