Bharat Biotech International Ltd. (BBIL) Monday launched a new anti-rabies vaccine Rabirix that can be used both for prevention as also for treatment in case of infection due to animal bite or contact with saliva of an infected animal.
Rabirix has been indigenously developed by BBIL and "can be used for both prophylactic (vaccine-pre bite) and therapeutic (post bite) treatments", said Krishna M. Ella, chairman and managing director at the launch. Julie Gerberding, director of the US-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was also present.
Rabirix is a purified vero cell based rabies vaccine (PVRV), which has been extensively evaluated clinically for pre-bite and post-bite applications, and has proven to be well tolerated with minimal or no side effects.
The immune sera samples from phase III clinical trials have been analysed at the Pune-based National Institute of Virology and the efficacy of the product has been established.
Rabies is an acute viral encephalitis transmitted from an infected animal to human by exposure to saliva.
Human infection with rabies is nearly always secondary to animal bite, with dog being the major reservoir for human Rabies. Once clinical symptoms have occurred, the disease is almost invariably fatal.
No tests are currently available to diagnose rabies infection in humans before the onset of clinical disease.
Four million people are exposed to the rabies virus worldwide every year and 60,000 people fall victim to it. In India, three million people undergo anti-rabies treatment and 30,000 deaths are reported annually which accounts for 50 percent of mortality from rabies worldwide.
"The rabies vaccines contribute approximately 50 percent of the vaccine market in India in terms of value. Currently, the market size of rabies vaccines is estimated to be around Rs.2.5 billion," said Ella.
BBIL has created a dedicated marketing division christened IMMUTIKA (Immunisation and Tika) to promote vaccines.