Bangalore based Atrimed Pharma, a pioneer in developing scientifically-tested plant-based medication, has organised Lecture Series by experts An Hour with an Expert – named “AtrimedX Platform” which will be covered in forthcoming six months, to drive COVID-19 Vaccine, its R&D pipeline momentum, productivity and innovation. The primary objective of the initiative in organising the lecture series is to conglomerate renowned Experts in the field of Medicine and Pharmaceuticals to share their opinion on challenges and opportunities in the field of Drug Discovery from both development and clinical perspective and to convey the concept of plant science,
Dr. Hrishikesh Damle, M D, Atrimed Pharma briefs that, “We are bringing “The AtrimedX Platform” to facilitate and educate the key role players like Clinical Practitioners and Pharmaceuticals developers.” The first of the Lecture series was successfully delivered by renowned immunologist – Dr. Narendra Chirmule on the topic “Unravel the secrets of vaccine development” and received an overwhelming response with more than 900 registrations comprising of fraternity of Doctors, Scientific Community and others.”
Dr. Chirmule is the former head of research and development at Biocon Research Limited, Bengaluru and also a member of Task Force on Repurposing of Drugs (TFORD) for COVID-19 constituted by PSA to GoI. Dr. Chirmule is currently associated with Atrimed as a scientific advisor.
During his presentation, youtu.be/XKJt6TZ1Klg. Dr. Chirmule has explained three major immune systems in human and their role in vaccine development. In particular, he has discussed the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 entry into the host and the immune response against the same. Further, he has briefed the characteristics of potential vaccine for COVID-19 and the challenges associated with their clinical investigations. The presentation was followed by an insightful question and answer session and the glimpse of the same is given below:
The presentation was followed by an insightful question and answer session and the glimpse of the questions were addressed by Dr. Chirmule on:
To the question of different approaches for vaccine development like DNA, RNA, attenuated pathogens, and many more and the answer was “My favourite is live attenuated virus. As COVID-19 induces a very complex immune response, the immune response induced by a virus should be very robust. Hence, attenuated virus vaccine can induce a sophisticated and robust immune response, indeed it offers high protection.” He further addressed if BCG vaccine helps to fight against COVID-19, he said It is not necessarily the BCG vaccine itself, it is the nature of the innate immune response. “If we have a higher innate immune response virus will be cleared little faster and can expect less morbidity.” Taking it forward on the query – other than viruses, is there any other interventions like adjuvants for COVID-19 vaccine development He explained the development of adjuvants is a central component of vaccine development. Adjuvants can induce some kind of innate immune response which help fight against SARS-CoV-2.
On the query of the quantum of immune response to the vaccine required in resulting protection against SARS-CoV-2 He briefed that, “It takes decades to measure the level of antibody required to give protection against particular disease. But through my earlier experience, I can say at-least 1ug /ml of neutralising antibody is required to protect against COVID-19.” And on the option of airway delivery of vaccine, he said, “Not only an option, but will require Protection of upper respiratory tract which is of primary importance for this vaccine. For People with auto immune disorder and any comorbidity are susceptible for COVID-19.”
Lastly his answer on if immunomodulators can be an alternative for vaccine, was combine immunomodulators with a vaccine one can augment the immune response. One to work more strategically to understand which modulator can be used and how much antibody you want to respond. For the elder generation s response will be different to the vaccine, he concluded saying that there will be not much remarkable difference in immune response in elderly towards vaccination.”
Atrimed has an infrastructure for research in plants science is equipped with world class computational biology, chemistry and molecular biology facilities. The research teams in all these areas are focused on identification of plant based medicines for the treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases with a major emphasis on inflammation and currently working of viral infections like Dengue, Hepatitis and also COVID-19. Atrimed holds a database of more than 4 Lakh plant molecules and screened 21 possible molecules to prevent or treat COVID-19, among them 10 molecules are approved to be investigated at ICMR designated research centre and the molecules are under pre-clinical investigations.