Pharmaceutical major Cadila Pharmaceuticals on Friday announced that it has developed the world's first novel three-dose vaccine against rabies.
The three-dose vaccine, named as 'ThRabis', is a recombinant nano-particle based G protein vaccine which is prepared using Virus-like Particle technology, the company said in a release, adding that the three-dose schedule is spread over only one week.
The new vaccine would prove to be a game-changer because all the existing rabies vaccines require five injections, spread over 28 days for eliminating the threat (of virus spread), Cadila Pharmaceuticals CMD Rajiv Modi said at the launch ceremony of the new vaccine.
"Animal bite victims could not complete the full course of the vaccine due to the long and complicated dosing schedule. This leaves many victims unprotected and susceptible to developing rabies, which is a fatal condition. With this new three-dose vaccine, many more lives can be saved," he said.
It is estimated that globally rabies kills 59,000 animal bite victims every year, mainly in Asia and Africa. Over 20,000 people die in India alone, mainly because many animal bite victims do not complete the full course of the available vaccine, the release added.
As per the data shared by the company, nearly 1.5 crore people become victims of animal bites, mostly dog bite, annually in India.
A survey revealed that only 30 lakh persons, out of 1.5 crore victims of animal bites, approach doctors to get a vaccine against rabies. However, 30 per cent victims skip the fourth dose while nearly 40 per cent skip the last dose, which increases the risk of getting a rabies infection.
The company said it took nearly 12 years to develop this three-dose vaccine, and the vaccine was found safe in the clinical trials. The vaccine has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
In the first phase, the vaccine will be launched in 11 states, including Gujarat. The company representatives would contact nearly 6,000 doctors as part of their awareness campaign in these states.
The company has fixed the price of one vial at Rs 750 while the cost of treatment, comprising three doses, would come to Rs 2,145, it added.