PopVax is an Indian biotechnology company based in Hyderabad which is building a thermostable, chimeric, low-cost, and safe second-generation mRNA platform for vaccines and therapeutics, starting with room-temperature stable multivariant vaccines to combat current and future strains of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.
PopVax was founded by Soham Sankaran, and our research work has been funded primarily by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (India). The team includes a former founding employee of Moderna and some of India's top experts in mRNA, lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulation, and antigen selection from both academia and industry.
The name PopVax is a portmanteau of the phrase population-scale vaccines. It represents our commitment to building a platform for cutting-edge vaccine development and production whose benefits are available at the same time to the entire global population, rather than just those lucky enough to live in the moneyed West. In line with those aims, we are committed to open-sourcing any COVID-19 vaccine we develop that is approved for human use by regulators, and will be entirely transparent about our scientific work and trials, production costs and capacity, as well as as any challenges and bottlenecks we encounter along the way in as close to real time as we can manage.
We believe it is imperative that we have indigenous next-generation pharmaceutical technologies -- our own research and development, not merely the means of production -- in India and the rest of the developing world. The solution to global vaccine and pharmaceutical inequity will not be found in Boston, Geneva, Washington, or Paris, it will be found in Hyderabad and Cape Town and Rio and Bangkok. In the coming years, PopVax intends to expand not just its manufacturing footprint, but also its R&D operation across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, providing significant resources and advanced tooling to homegrown researchers who have, both historically and today, deprived of those opportunities, and allowing for rapid local responses to the emergence of novel pathogens across the world.
When we started this company, we were told by many Western institutions and investors, as well as many Indian pharmaceutical executives and bueraucrats, that we did not have the capability to do mRNA work of any kind in India. We have proved them wrong. We were told by India's vaunted generics and vaccine companies, companies that have billions of dollars and spend none of it on research, that Indians cannot be at the forefront of R&D on a new pharmaceutical platform, that we lack the talent and the rigour and the commitment. We have proved them wrong as well. We are now told that it is folly to imagine that we can leapfrog Moderna and BioNTech and Pfizer and Sanofi, with their hundreds of billions of dollars and years of work in this area. We will prove them all wrong. Hyderabad will be the new global capital of the life sciences, and there will be a new dawn of pharmaceutical R&D across the rising world, from India to Nigeria to Thailand to Bangladesh. We do not need saving -- we will do it ourselves.
We are hiring aggressively for scientific, manufacturing, legal, and communications roles
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