India’s Minister of State of the Ministry of Science and Technology & Earth Sciences announced India’s first locally made quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV), Cervavac, for the prevention of cervical cancer.
Cervavac is developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Adar Poonawalla, chief executive of SII, stated that SII will make 200 million doses of the qHPV vaccine in two years, and will first give it out in India, and then to the rest of the world.
A report in Business Today said that once the vaccines are developed, they will be available to both genders at a price range of 200 to 400 rupees ($2.50-$5). The vaccine will be given in two or three doses, depending upon the recipient.
Until now, Indian users were using the HPV vaccine developed by foreign manufacturers, costing 2,000 to 3,500 rupees per dose.
The two vaccine variants available in India are Gardasil from Merck & Co and Cervarix from GSK.
Cervical cancer is the second most frequent cancer in India among women between 15 and 44 years of age.