Chiron Behring re-launches its rabies vaccine as Chirorab

Earlier marketed under the trade name Rabipur®, this vaccine is presently manufactured using the same technology at the same site

Seen at the launch along with the Bharat Biotech Chairman, Dr Krishna Ella were the DBT Secretary, Renu Swarup and Dr S Eswara Reddy, Joint Drugs Controller (India).

New Delhi/Hyderabad:  Chiron Behring Vaccines has re-launched the purified chick embryo cell (PCEC) vaccine manufactured at its WHO pre-qualified facility in Ankleshwar, Gujarat. The vaccine has been re-branded as Chirorab®.

Earlier marketed under the trade name Rabipur®, this vaccine is presently manufactured using the same technology at the same site. The vaccine is an inactivated vaccine used for active pre and post exposure immunisation against Rabies.

Chiron Behring Vaccines was acquired by Bharat Biotech from GSK in March 2019 and commercial operations were restarted in May 2019.

Dedicating the vaccine to India and presenting to the world, the Chairman of Bharat Biotech, Dr Krishna Ella stated, “I am proud to introduce Chirorab® to the world! We were highly committed in expediting the manufacturing and commercialisation of Chirorab® whilst maintaining the highest standards of quality to meet the urgent global requirement.”

Chirorab® supplies will be made available to government hospitals in various states through tenders, with the remaining available for the private markets and exports.

Dr Ella further added “In our ongoing commitment to address the supply shortages of rabies vaccines, we are making additional investments to increase production capacity to over 15 million doses annually.”

Dr Charles Ruprecht, retired chief of the Rabies programme at CDC, Atlanta, USA and world renowned authority on Rabies said “As reflective in the mythological figure renowned in wisdom and medicine, renewed local production of the human rabies vaccine, Chirorab® should be a major opportunity for the achievement towards the ‘Zero By Thirty’ goal for human rabies prevention on the Indian sub-continent and the region as a whole.”

The immunogenicity, efficacy, and safety of Chirorab® has been assessed in several clinical trials in pre- and post-exposure regimens, using both intramuscular and intradermal routes of administration.

Chirorab® has been evaluated in over 25 controlled clinical trials in 5 countries in more than 7000 subjects. During the past 30 years, more than 80 million doses of this vaccine has been distributed worldwide with an excellent safety and efficacy profile. 

According to a WHO report, rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease that claims over 59,000 lives each year, mostly in Asia and Africa. Recent studies estimate that India witnesses 17.4 million animal bites annually with 20,800 rabies deaths, being the highest in the world.

India, which has a large stray dog population, reportedly needs 35 million doses of the anti-rabies vaccine per annum. 

 Few facts about Chiron Behring Vaccines

Hoechst originally set up the facility to manufacture Purified Chick Embryo Cell vaccine better known as Rabipur®, in Ankleshwar, Gujarat in 1989.

Chiron Behring Vaccines was later formed as a result of the acquisition of the vaccines business by Chiron Corporation USA.

The company was acquired by Novartis in 2006 and later sold to GSK in 2015 after which Chiron Behring Vaccines was acquired in March 2019 by Bharat Biotech International Ltd.

Chiron Behring is one of the largest manufacturers of high-quality rabies vaccine in the world credited in being a WHO Pre-qualified manufacturer of rabies vaccines, eligible for supplies to UN agencies having product registrations in more than 30 countries.