COVID-19: India bets big on monoclonal antibodies amid mega industry & academia partnership

CSIR through its NMITLI program approves a multi institutional project to develop human monoclonal antibodies (hmAbs) that can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in patients. The project will be implemented by National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), IIT-Indore and PredOmix Technologies with Bharat Biotech International, as the commercialization partner


New Delhi: CSIR is leading the fight against Covid-19 using multi-pronged approach and multiple models of engagement. On one hand CSIR labs themselves are developing technologies and products and are working with industry and PSU partners for deployment. On the other hand, CSIR is also supporting new ideas and projects from other academic and industries through its flagship New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) program.

Given the importance of deploying multiple strategies against Covid-19, CSIR through NMITLI program has approved a project towards development of human monoclonal antibodies (hmAbs) that can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in patients. This project on generation of neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies as a therapeutic strategy will be implemented by a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary team. The team comprises of academic institutes and industry with participants from NCCS, IIT-Indore, PredOmix Technologies and Bharat Biotech International.

The project aims to generate hmAbs to SARS-CoV-2 from convalescent phase of COVID-19 patients and select high affinity and neutralizing antibodies. The project also aims to anticipate future adaptation of the virus and generate hmAbs clones that can neutralize the mutated virus so that could be readily used for combating future SARS-CoV infections.BBIL will be the commercial partner and responsible for subsequent development and commercialization of the hmAbs generated.

DG CSIR, Dr Shekhar C Mande commented that “As the research into SARS-CoV-2 is in early days and our understanding is evolving each day, it is critical that we need to deploy all possible strategies to combat the virus. Hence, CSIR is exploring all avenues and we are supporting new ideas which have clear deployment strategy”.