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FROM 1896 PLAGUE TO 2019 COVID: JOURNEY OF HAFFKINE BIO-PHARMA

Author: Vaibhav Goyal, IV year of B.A.,LL.B(Hons) from University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University (SSGRC, Hsp.), Chandigarh.


One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine

-William Osler (Described as the Father of Modern Medicine)


Dr. Waldemar Mordecai Haffkine was born on March 15, 1860, in Odessa, Russia. A brilliant disciple of Dr. Aleck Metchnikoff and Dr. Louis Pasteur, Dr. Haffkine showed up in Calcutta in 1892 with a mission to handle the issue of a Cholera epidemic. Waldemar Mordecai Haffkine developed an anticholera immunization at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, in 1892. From the results of field trials in India from 1893 to 1896, he has been credited as having carried out the first effective prophylactic vaccination for bacterial disease in a man.


At the point when the plague pandemic spread in Bombay, Haffkine became a bacteriologist to the Government of (British) India (1896-1915). He was before long delivered a powerful antiplaque vaccine and enormous vaccination plans were started.


Bacteriologist Waldemar Mordecai Haffkine however, Russian by birth, and he lived during a period when the plague was ruling the existences of individuals, more awful than what COVID-19 has done.


Times when millions were falling dead because of sickness, some known and some obscure. Despite building up an immunization for Cholera, the European authority clinical foundation in France, Germany, and Russia didn't appreciate the work of Dr. Haffkine. Even Louis Pasteur neglected him. This didn't stop Waldemar. He chose to survey India, where a large number of individuals were dying of pandemics. With the assistance of some British representatives, he had the option of showing his immunization in England. Afterward, he came to India in 1893 and set up a research facility at Byculla in 1896, which was moved to Parel and was called Haffkine Institute.


He developed plague and cholera vaccines in India. By 1902–03, a large portion of 1,000,000 was immunized. Dr. Haffkine was suspended after 19 individuals died from some side effects of Haffkine's vaccines. All the evidence appeared to state that the contamination of bottle 53N was the reason for these deaths.


It was developed over 40 days back at the Parel lab, as indicated by a BBC report. Because of this, he was suspended, just to be reappointed as the head of the Biological Laboratory in Calcutta. In 1915, he retired and he got back to France after serving India and Indians for more than twenty years.

Sans Pareil was at one time the official residence of the Governor of Bombay.


This house, which was initially a Jesuit sanctuary, was being operated as a division of the Jesuit religious community on Parel Island in 1673. William Hornby (1771–1784) was the first governor to take up his residence at the chateau. The Governor’s residence was then moved to its current site on Malabar Hill in 1885, and the property was utilized by the Bombay Presidency Recorders. Haffkine moved into the building to set up the "Plague Research Laboratory" in 1899, the lab being officially opened by the then Governor of Bombay, Lord Sandhurst. The Institute was renamed "Bombay Bacteriology Laboratory" in 1906, lastly as the "Haffkine Institute" in 1925.


In 1925, in remembrance of the incredible bacteriologist, the Bombay Government renamed the lab as the Haffkine Institute.


To extend its services and to fulfill the developing needs for medications and lifesaving drugs, the Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation Ltd., completely owned by the Government of Maharashtra Company registered under Companies Act, 1956, is situated at Parel, Mumbai. Under the Articles of Association of the Company, the Governor of Maharashtra is vested with the ability to name every one of the Directors on the Board of the Company.


The Corporation plays a spearheading job in the turn of events and creation of a wide scope of Bacterial and viral vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, plague, poliomyelitis, and rabies. The Corporation additionally manufactures pharmaceutical products, disinfectants, ointments, injectables, syrups, and mixtures.


The Antitoxin and Sera (ATS) division of HBPCL is situated at Pimpri close to Pune, and it is occupied with the production of Antiserum against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Gas gangrene, Snake and Scorpion Venoms. The ATS office was set up in 1940 in Mumbai for the development of the Anti-Snake Venom Serum (ASVS) and therefore moved to Pimpri from 1952-53 onwards in a staged way.


A lyophilisation project affirming WHO-GMP norms has been authorized in the year 2002 and is being utilized for freeze-drying of the antisera. The equines (Horses/Mules/Ponies) are utilized for the creation of hyper invulnerable serum for more than a hundred years, and it is a natural creature to pick because of specific benefits like the ease in handling, tolerance to repeated high doses of antigens, its ability to yield high volumes of blood at periodic intervals to mention a few. For HBPCL, the significant source of Horses and Mules has been the Indian Army, and ponies are procured locally from the open market.


In 1997, HBPCL was effective in presenting Scorpion Venom Antiserum for the very first time for India, which was explicitly evolved to satisfy longstanding interest from the Konkan area. At present HBPCL is the lone producer of the same in India. From 1995 onwards, the ATS office is keeping up its snake ranch where three significant toxic snakes of India, to be specific Cobra, Russell's Viper, Common Krait are kept up to acquire venoms required for hyper immunization of equines according to necessity. This office has been an aid to keep up the quality and intensity of ASVS created at ATS Pimpri. ATS office likewise fabricates Anti Rabies Serum (ARS).


Presently, the Government of India has granted permission to the Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation for manufacturing Covaxin via transfer of technology and formula from Bharat Biotech. In the wake of getting authorization to make Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 immunization Covaxin, Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical on April 16, 2021, said it would require a full year for the organization to begin real manufacturing of the vaccine. A high-ranking representative said the state-run organization is focusing on creating 22.8 crore vials of the immunization each year.


A proposal was submitted in January this year inferable from the rising instances of Covid and the the need for additional vaccines to vaccinate an enormous number of individuals. It is a goal-oriented task which is significant from the point of inoculation of an enormous populace," said the Managing Director of the Company.