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24 Jan 2021, Edition - 2021, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Efforts on to develop Ebola and AIDS vaccines

Covai Post Network

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A team of doctors, led by an Indian, is on the verge of developing a vaccine that would immunize the body against the deadly virus Ebola and AIDS. They have already positively tested the vaccine on mice and are now conducting human trials. The team is from the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas, the U.S.

The vaccine is being developed from plants such as pasture grass, sunflower and beechnuts. These plants are commonly available all across the world.

“The studies have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The plant based extract produces antibodies in mice. This is a very good indicator that it might work in humans. Clinical trials are going on in humans. We can’t reveal much more than this as this is covered by Intellectual Property Rights,” said Rajagopal Appavu, who is the only Indian on the team of doctors.

Dr. Rajagopal completed his Ph.D. at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. He is from Salem and did his B.Sc. in Government Arts College, Salem, and M.Sc. in Pondicherry University. He is from Vazhapadi in Salem district.
“We are now studying the use of the extract to prevent cancer. The studies are going on since 2012,” the doctor said.

“We are developing peptide-based vaccine adjuvants that boost the immune system against infectious diseases,” Dr. Rajagopal, lead author of the paper ‘Enhancing the Magnitude of Antibody Responses through Biomaterial Stereochemistry’ was quoted by the Indian Science Journal, as saying. “All the peptides reported have toxicity under the acceptable limit,” he added.

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