Affordable Vaccine platform

April 10, 2014, Biospectrum Magazine 

Tergene Biotech was founded by Dr Mosuvan Kuppusamy, a biotechnologist well known in the vaccine industry with three decades of experience in research and manufacturing of biologics. Having been associated earlier with the various prominent companies, Dr Kuppusamy wanted to follow his heart and finally decided to start his own venture. The company started its research and development (R&D) activities in the year 2010 by acquiring lab space in Biotechnology Incubation Centre, Hyderabad.

The initial recognition came when its in-house R&D centre was recognised by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) in 2011. The main research focus was in developing affordable vaccines against infectious diseases based on the polysaccharide-carrier protein conjugate platform. Besides vaccines against infectious diseases, Tergene is working on the development of therapeutic vaccines against antibiotic resistance, cancer and allergy.

Tergene is developing bio-conjugate platform technologies for novel vaccines and antibody drug conjugates. It has developed the multivalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV- 15) employing an innovative micro reactor based conjugation chemistry. Initial funding support for the PCV-15 project was received from BIRAC and the company successfully established the proof of concept, eventual scale-up and validation of the process. In recognition of this achievement, Tergene was awarded with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) Innovators Award-2013 in the Healthcare sector.The award is in recognition of the company's significant contribution to innovative research towards the "Development of an Indigenous India specific 15 valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine".

The company deeply acknowledges the Biotechnology Industry Partnership Program (BIPP) from BIRAC for the financial support and hand holding in the successful completion of the innovative technology platform. This award boosts up the company's morale and encourages in pursuing the next stage of clinical validation and early commercialization of the vaccine. The PCV-15 vaccine is awaiting preclinical and clinical evaluation.

Another significant achievement of the company is the development of a cost effective production technology for CRM-197, the safest carrier protein and a key ingredient in the development of PCV-15. It also finds application in other therapeutic vaccines against cancer and allergy.

On being asked about the product among the basket that looks most appealing, Dr Kuppusamy elaborated,"The CRM-197 is a critical game-changer in the development of affordable conjugate vaccines. The company has already started supply of GLP grade CRM-197 to research institutions at competitive price. The company is in the process of building a GMP compliant manufacturing facility for CRM-197 with an annual capacity of 10 kg."