A recombinant subunit vaccine for SARS-CoV-2

Team Lead: Raghavan Varadarajan
Email: varadar@iisc.ac.in


The goal is to develop a rapidly producible vaccine for protection to front-line health workers, senior citizens and individuals with co-morbidities such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Immunization with a vaccine should provide significant protection to individuals at high risk of aggravated illness upon infection. Previous studies have shown that antibodies against the spike glycoprotein found on the surface of the earlier 2003 SARS-CoV virus inhibit viral infection in cell culture, and confer protection against infection in animal models. Hence, we and others are attempting to design and test variants of the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 as vaccine candidates.

With critical, catalytic funding and support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a number of spike protein derivatives have been designed and characterized at IISc. These are being tested in animal models through the IISc incubated start-up, Mynvax. The design which shows the best results in animals will be advanced to development of production technology, safety and toxicity testing, followed by GMP manufacturing for use in Phase-1 clinical trials. We estimate that atleast 100 million doses will be required to meet India’s requirement if the SARS-CoV-2 infection persists for the medium to long-term.


  • First generation vaccine candidate: 4 months
  • Production technology: 8 months
  • Initiate phase-1 human clinical trial: 12 months


  • Raghavan Varadarajan, faculty member, MBU, IISc & co-founder, Mynvax Pvt. Ltd. (varadar@iisc.ac.in)
  • Gautham Nadig, co-founder, Mynvax Pvt. Ltd. (gautham.nadig@mynvax.com)
  • Other collaborators in academia and industry: to be updated

Support required

Funding: Rs. 15 crores

Scroll Up