In public interest it is necessary to establish more facilities to regulate the testing of COVID-19 vaccines for quick release of vaccine batches for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection. Considering this requirement, the Government of India has identified two Autonomous Institutes of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), viz., National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad and National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, for upgradation as Central Drug Laboratories (CDLs). The funding support for the same was provided under the PM-CARES funds.
The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, continues its support to scale up the vaccine development and manufacturing ecosystem. The setting up of facilities for vaccine testing at NCCS, Pune and NIAB, Hyderabad, is a step in this direction.
With support from PM CARES funds, the laboratory of the National Institute of animal Biotechnology (NIAB), has been upgraded as Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) for COVID-19 vaccine testing facility at Hyderabad. The facility at NIAB, Hyderabad, has now been notified as Central Drugs Laboratory for testing and lot release of COVID-19 vaccines vide. Gazette notification issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on 17th August, 2021. The facility at NCCS, Pune has already been notified as CDL on 28th June 2021.
The two facilities are expected to test approx. 60 batches of vaccines per month. Considering that the facilities are located in proximity to the vaccine manufacturing hubs of the nation, logistics for vaccine manufacturing and supply are expected to be eased up. The generous support through PM-CARES Funds and the relentless efforts of the two institutes have enabled the rapid up-gradation and setting up of the state-of-the-art, modern GLP Compliant vaccine testing facilities and contribute to the national requirement. This would further strengthen the vaccine supply chain and boost the massive vaccination drive in India.