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  • Sanjay Trivedi

Chiron Behring Re-Launches It’s Rabies Vaccine As “Chirorab”

Chiron Behring Vaccines announced today the re-launch of the well-established and trusted purified chick embryo cell (PCEC) vaccine manufactured at its WHO pre-qualified facility in Ankleshwar, Gujarat as Chirorab. Earlier marketed under the trade name Rabipur, this vaccine is presently manufactured using the same technology at the same site. The vaccine is an inactivated vaccine used for active pre and post exposure immunisation against Rabies.


Chiron Behring Vaccines was acquired by Bharat Biotech from GSK in March 2019 and commercial operations were restarted in May 2019. Dedicating the vaccine to India and presenting to the world, Dr. Krishna Ella said “I am proud to introduce Chirorab to the world! We were highly committed in expediting the manufacturing and commercialisation of Chirorab whilst maintaining the highest standards of quality to meet the urgent global requirement.”


Chirorab supplies will be made available to government hospitals in various states through tenders, with the remaining available for the private markets and exports. Dr. Ella further added “In our ongoing commitment to address the supply shortages of rabies vaccines, we are making additional investments to increase production capacities to over 15 million doses annually.”


Dr. Charles Ruprecht, retired chief of the Rabies programme at CDC, Atlanta, USA and world renowned authority on Rabies said “As reflective in the mythological figure renowned in wisdom and medicine, renewed local production of the human rabies vaccine, Chirorab® should be a major opportunity for the achievement towards the 'Zero By Thirty' goal for human rabies prevention on the Indian sub-continent and the region as a whole.”


The immunogenicity, efficacy, and safety of Chirorab has been assessed in several clinical trials in pre- and post-exposure regimens, using both intramuscular and intradermal routes of administration. Chirorab has been evaluated in over 25 controlled clinical trials in 5 countries in more than 7000 subjects. During the past 30 years, more than 80 million doses of this vaccine has been distributed worldwide with an excellent safety and efficacy profile. According to a WHO report, rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease that claims over 59,000 lives each year, mostly in Asia and Africa. Recent studies estimate that India witnesses 17.4 million animal bites annually with 20,800 rabies deaths, being the highest in the world. India, which has a large stray dog population, reportedly needs 35 million doses of the anti-rabies vaccine per annum.


About Chiron Behring Vaccines:

Hoechst originally set up the facility to manufacture the Purified Chick Embryo Cell vaccine better known as Rabipur® , in Ankleshwar, Gujarat in 1989. Chiron Behring Vaccines was later formed as a result of the acquisition of the vaccines business by Chiron Corporation USA. The company was acquired by Novartis in 2006 and later sold to GSK in 2015 after which Chiron Behring Vaccines was acquired in March 2019 by Bharat Biotech International Ltd. Chiron Behring is one of the largest manufacturers of high-quality rabies vaccine in the world credited in being a WHO Pre-qualified manufacturer of rabies vaccines, eligible for supplies to UN agencies having product registrations in more than 30 countries. Chirorab is the world’s first purified chick embryo cell-culture (PCEC) vaccine with a 30 year history of research and product development between India and Germany merited with manufacturing excellence and global acceptance.


About Bharat Biotech:

Bharat Biotech is a multidimensional biotechnology company focused on innovative product development, global manufacturing capabilities and internationally recognized quality management systems. Bharat Biotech has established an excellent track record of innovation with more than 110 global patents, a wide product portfolio of more than 15 products, registrations in more than 65 countries and WHO Pre-qualifications. Our commitment to global social innovation programs and public private partnerships resulted in the introduction of path breaking WHO pre-qualified vaccines BIO-POLIO ‘ROTAVAC’ and ‘TypbarTCV’ combatting polio, rotavirus infections & typhoid respectively. We have increased access for governments and communities to safe, effective & affordable vaccines to avert life threatening diseases including Hepatitis B, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, H1N1, Polio as well as bio-therapeutics using recombinant epidermal growth factors in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and burns.

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