Making of a highly useful multipurpose vaccine
Reviewed briefly is the journey taken for development of an immunotherapeutic Vaccine for multibacillary leprosy. The nature of immune deficit in these patients is their inability to react to key antigens of M. leprae. Heterologous approach was adopted to identify a cultivable mycobacteria coded as Mw, now sequenced and named as Mycobacterium indicus pranii (MiP). MiP expediated bacterial clearance and shortened the recovery time of leprosy patients. It converted 65-70% of lepromin negative BL, LL patients to lepromin positivity status, which is not achieved by treatment with, drugs alone. The vaccine has received approval of The Drugs Controller General of India and USFDA and is being manufactured by M/s Cadilla Pharma. MiP is a potent invigorator of both cellular and humoral immune responses and has found many other useful applications. It is effective for treatment of Category II “difficult to treat” tuberculosis patients. In contrast to BCG, it is active in killed autoclaved form. It enhances considerably antibody titres to a potential birth control vaccine against hCG. It cures ugly anogenital warts. It has both preventive and therapeutic action against SP2/O Myelomas.