Hester has signed an agreement towards receiving indigenously developed technology from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research - National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (ICAR-NIHSAD), for the development and commercialization of the Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H9N2 strain) Inactivated Vaccine for poultry.
The agreement was signed on 27 December 2022 at the office of Agrinnovate India, New Delhi. Agrinnovate is a government entity that acts as an interface between ICAR and the stakeholders in the agriculture sector, which includes technology transfers for vaccine manufacturing in the veterinary sector.
The meeting was attended by:
Director general, ICAR- Himanshu Pathak
Deputy director general, ICAR- B. N. Tripathi
Assistant director general, ICAR- Ashok Kumar
Chief executive officer, Agrinnovate India- Praveen Malik
Director, NIHSAD, Aniket Sanyal
Chief executive officer and managing director, Hester- Rajiv Gandhi
Chief sales officer, Hester- Manoj Kumar
Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza H9N2 Strain causes comorbidity in poultry flocks throughout the year, leading to economic losses to poultry farmers. The disease generally has a low mortality rate of up to 6% but can increase significantly in the presence of other infections. It could also lead to an irreversible egg production drop (up to 50%) in layer birds and a performance loss in broilers.
This indigenously developed inactivated H9N2 vaccine for poultry is developed using a local isolate, thereby ensuring that the vaccine is made from the local strain and not by importing any exotic strain.
This development achieves the country’s objective of making India Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant).
As per Agrinovate:
1. The vaccine has passed the sterility, safety, and efficacy testing in experimental trials under laboratory conditions.
2. The vaccine provides protective immunity in chickens for approximately six months.
Hester has plans to launch this Vaccine by the end of 2023 after completing the required field studies and obtaining regulatory approvals.
Besides supplying the vaccine within India, Hester intends to export this to African and Asian countries through Hester’s distribution network, where the demand for this vaccine has already been established.
The huge poultry population in India is a key source of livelihood for rural India. To date, India had no vaccine available for Avian Influenza despite periodic outbreaks across the country. These factors make this vaccine as having significant commercial potential.