‘New variant of Covid likely by November, may evade vaccine’, says Krishna Ella

The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 31-07-2022 | 05:35 am

‘New variant of Covid likely by November, may evade vaccine’, says Krishna Ella

Predicting a new variant of Covid-19 in India by November that may “evade the vaccine” and “increase hospitalisation”, chairman and managing director at Bharat Biotech (BB) International Limited Dr Krishna Ella advocated nasal vaccine as the next step for the protection of upper respiratory system as injectable vaccines can protect “only the lower part”.Speaking at the 43rd Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Lecture on “innovation and entrepreneurship” at the Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) on Saturday, Ella said, “People who took the injectable vaccines are protected in the lower (respiratory system) part so they still get the infection because upper part of the lung is not protected. The nasal vaccine gives upper lung protection… We are optimistic that both injectable and nasal strategy will work,” said Dr Ella.Phase 3 trial for BB’s nasal vaccine was announced as completed in June this year and the company is yet to submit the trial data with the DCGI.Stating that conducting clinical trials during the pandemic was a challenge, Ella emphasised that during Covaxin development, “safety” was kept as the first tenet so that “healthy people do not get into trouble”. “Even if the efficacy is a little down, it doesn’t matter, but its safety profile is very very important,” he said.

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Hester Biosciences Ltd reports Net Profit of Rs. 3.56 crore and Revenues from Operations of Rs. 50.7 crore in Q1FY23
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 day ago | 10-08-2022 | 07:02 pm
Ahmedabad Mirror
1 day ago | 10-08-2022 | 07:02 pm

August 10: One of India’s leading poultry and animal vaccine manufacturing companies, Hester Biosciences Limited, has reported a consolidated net profit of Rs. 3.56 crore and Revenue from Operations of Rs. 50.70 crores for the Q1FY23. Individually, the gross margins of the vaccines and the health products have been in line with the corresponding quarter; however, the overall margins have reduced due to the increase in the proportion of health products sales which have lower gross margins compared to vaccines. Health Products sales constituted 34% of the total sales in Q1 FY23, versus 20% in Q1 FY22.Hester Tanzania recently received regulatory approvals for four products, with two additional products under approval. Hester Tanzania has just started commercial operations, and Revenues are expected to start in Q2. Hester Nepal has registered a 16% growth in domestic revenues; however, there were no tender sales in the current quarter due to delays in tendering by FAO and other multilateral institutions.Going furtherThe company is confident of arresting the de growth in Q2 as well as hopes to improve the profitability as follows:On the vaccine side:The recent outbreak of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in certain parts of the country since July 2022 is expected to result in additional sales in Q2 FY23.The Company was a successful bidder in a government tender for PPR vaccine for sheep & goats, the supplies for which will likely start from September 2022.On the Health Product side:It is our endeavour to improve the profitability. Over the next couple of quarters, Hester will focus on growing sales on the back of improving the sales productivity of the marketing team as well as launching new products and entering new territories.Petcare divisionThe Company launched a new division for Petcare during Q1 with ten products. Activities related to market development, field force establishment and product pipeline are ongoing. Petcare Division will emerge as a steady long-term growth driver, given the increasing adoption of pets in the country.Status on Hester’s initiatives in the Covid-19 vaccineThe Company, in consortium with Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC), Government of Gujarat (GoG), has entered into a term sheet agreement with Bharat Biotech India Limited to manufacture the Drug Substance for Covaxinunder the Mission Covid Suraksha Scheme of the Government of India.The project is to manufacture a Drug Substance equivalent to up to 7 million doses per month.The construction of the BSL-3 facility is nearing mechanical completion. Planning and preparation for commissioning are ongoing. The facility is expected to be ready for commercial operation in Q3FY23.This facility is a multi-purpose facility to handle other micro-organisms beyond Covid-19.Other developmentsThe Company is strengthening its new product vaccine pipeline by developing new vaccines like Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Sheep Pox and an improved version of Brucella vaccines.The bulk antigen production capacity expansion project is completed, and trial runs are ongoing. Expansion of Fill-Finish line capacity is expected to be completed by Q4FY23. These two expansions will double the production capacity of vaccines.The recent notification by the Government of India to allow the manufacture and sale of Avian Influenza Inactivated vaccine, the H9N2 strain, will contribute to our sales from Q3.

Hester Biosciences Ltd reports Net Profit of Rs. 3.56 crore and Revenues from Operations of Rs. 50.7 crore in Q1FY23
32k e-memos issued for over-speeding
Ahmedabad Mirror | 2 days ago | 09-08-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
2 days ago | 09-08-2022 | 06:00 am

Two incidents of accidents due to over-speeding took place on Monday. In the first incident which took place at 10.45 am on Monday, a speeding Maroon colored Honda car hit a scooter from behind on Sola overbridge. Jasmit Darji, his wife Falguni and their 13-year-old son Bhomya, residents of Vejalpur, were returning from Sola civil hospital on the scooter after getting Falguni anti-rabies vaccine after she was bitten by a dog. Police said Jasmit sustained head injuries and Falguni was lying in a semi-conscious condition. Even Bhomya sustained serious injuries. They were rushed to the hospital where the three are being treated. “The boy told us that they were hit by a speeding car from behind. We are looking for the car,” said a traffic police official.In another incident which took place on Monday night, an SUV rammed into one a light pole on the same overbridge. The driver of the car was shifted to hospital for treatment. An FIR is yet to be registered.These are some of the many incidents in which over-speeding vehicles have injured or killed people on the road. A few days ago, two people died in a similar incident on the same bridge. After a series of such incidents, the city police had deployed speed guns to catch over speeding drivers.A worrying pattern of over-speeding is emerging. In just seven months from January to August 7, Amdavadis have received 32,344 e-challans for over-speeding and fined Rs 6.81 crore, the most being in June with 7,896 people challaned and a fine of Rs 1.68 crore imposed. A traffic official said most of the e-challans are generated with the help of nine speed guns mounted on interceptor vehicles detecting over-speeding. “Eight speed guns are deployed in different areas of the city, while one is deployed on the highway. We still avoid fining vehicles in which families are travelling,” the traffic cop said.Now, the police propose to get tough on over-speeding with increased fine amounts. Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Mayanksinh Chavda said, “Rs 1,500 will be fined for the first over-speeding offence, Rs 3,000 for the second time, and if caught for the third time, we will ask the RTO to suspend the offenders’ driving license.”Chavda said that on an average about 4,100 e-challans were issued every month from January to June. According to police records, there are about 212 traffic junctions which have about 2,351 CCTV cameras through which offences are detected and e-challans generated. Of these, 2,121 are functional while 34 are defunct and 196 cameras are under maintenance currently.Most commuters died in western parts of cityAccording to the figures of city police, a total of 845 road accidents took place in the first seven months of 2022. “Of these, 265 were fatal accidents, mostly due to drivers over-speeding or commuters being hit by other over-speeding vehicles. Most of the fatal accidents took place in areas such as Gujarat University, Navrangpura Naranpura, SG Highway, Vastrapur, Ghatolodia, Chanakyapuri, Sola, Sabarmati riverfront, Sindhu Bhavan Road, Satellite, Nehrunagar, Ranip, Chandkheda and walled city.

32k e-memos issued for over-speeding
Swine flu cases to prevail till end of winter: Docs
Times of India | 4 days ago | 07-08-2022 | 10:41 am
Times of India
4 days ago | 07-08-2022 | 10:41 am

SURAT: With steady rise in number of swine flu cases, health officials predict that the figure will be more than 100 within a week. Nine fresh swine flu cases were reported on Saturday and the total number of cases is now 52 in the city. The number of swine flu deaths has reached three in the city Officials, however, say active monitoring and timely treatment will ensure controlling the disease. They claim that cases will rise up to a certain number and its prevalence will be there till end of winter. On Friday, a 54-year-old woman from Velanja village died at a hospital. She had tested positive on July 28 and had been admitted to hospital since then. She was suffering from blood pressure.“Swine flu cases are going to increase and will continue to get reported till around February next year. Due to conducive weather, the cases will rise in the city,” said a health official. Swine flu testing is not common and there is no rapid test available for it. Currently, family members and those who come in contact with a positive patient are getting tested. Further, the vaccine for swine flu is not available for free and officials also claim that it is not effective since the virus changes its train at regular intervals. “People need not worry about swine flu infection since there is medicine for it. But it is necessary to identify the infection first and for that active monitoring is required,” said a health official. “Patients can monitor their own health and consult a doctor if there are symptoms of swine flu. But it is equally important that individuals improve their immunity to fight these viruses,” said a doctor. Meanwhile, on Saturday, 42 Covid-19 positive cases were reported in the city while 48 patients were discharged. Now, there are 253 active Covid cases and nine of them have been hospitalised.

Swine flu cases to prevail till end of winter: Docs
Take precautionary dose of Covid vaccine, urges PM Modi
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 05-08-2022 | 03:35 am
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 05-08-2022 | 03:35 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday urged people to take their precautionary doses of vaccine against Covid-19 at a time when India has been seeing a rise in the number of cases. “I urge all present here to take a precautionary dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. On the completion of 75 years of independence, the government has started a campaign of giving free vaccine doses for 75 days,” Modi said as he virtually addressed a huge gathering while inaugurating Shrimad Rajchandra Multispecialty Charitable Hospital in the tribal area of Dharampur taluka of Valsad Thursday.“We should ensure that everybody in our family and our area or village takes the precaution dose,” the PM added. The PM’s reminder comes as the Central government commenced free supply of the Covid vaccines for 75 days as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ campaign.The PM highlighted that in addition to the Covid vaccine campaign, India was also carrying out a nation-wide vaccination for animals, including cows and buffaloes, against the food and mouth disease. Around “12 crore vaccinations have been done of which 90 lakh were done in Gujarat”, the PM claimed. His statements came as Gujarat has been battling Lumpy Skin Disease, a viral disease that has been spreading across cattle population in the state and has claimed at least 1,838 cattle lives until Thursday.Praising the hospital, the PM said people in the tribal-dominated Dharampur and its nearby talukas will benefit from the new facility. “The commitment to serve the poor will become stronger through such a hospital,” Modi said, adding he was “glad that doctors and staff from Surat, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and foreign countries have come here to serve the people”.The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of a Centre of Excellence for Women and Animal Hospital in Dharampur. “The Centre of Excellence for Women by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission will change the lives of many women in the tribal areas. Shrimad Rajchandraji had emphasised more on education and skill development. At a younger age, he had pressed his views on women empowerment,” he said.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxHe said the Centre’s endeavours were directed at ensuring to remove all obstacles that “prevented our sisters and daughters from moving forward”.Modi also praised Shrimad Rajchandra, the 19th century Jain philosopher and poet, for making “huge contributions to the country’s history”. “It is unfortunate that we lost bright leaders who could have made the world aware of the knowledge and strength that India has, too soon,” Modi said about Rajchandra, who inspired Mahatma Gandhi.

Take precautionary dose of Covid vaccine, urges PM Modi