Icertis, the leading provider of enterprise contract management in the cloud, today announced a contribution of INR 15 Lakhs to Haffkine Institute to support their efforts in testing an anti-tuberculosis vaccine as a treatment for COVID-19. This donation will cover insurance costs to patients, indemnity to nurses, doctors and investigators, drug supplies, and consumables for patient sample testing in the clinical trials of the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine as a means to neutralize the effects of COVID-19.
At this time, when there are no vaccines to stop the pandemic spread nor established curative treatment methods, the need to develop effective treatments has become critical. Heeding to the efforts of the Indian government to curtail further growth of the pandemic, Haffkine Institute is working on the development of new treatment modalities for COVID-19. The Institute is working with the state government, various government-run hospitals and Pune's BJ Medical College to test potential cures for COVID-19. The trial that Icertis is funding will assess whether BCG can help bolster the immune system of patients.
"The Haffkine Institute has been a center for scientific and industrial research since its inception in 1896," said Dr. Sanjay Mukherjee, Secretary, Medical Education & Drugs Department, Government of Maharashtra. "We are grateful to Icertis for the generous contribution towards the Institute's efforts to tackle the spread of COVID-19. We are constantly working on ways to develop new treatments for COVID-19 and this contribution will help our teams immensely as we unite to win this battle against the virus."
The Haffkine Institute is an autonomous research institute with an illustrious history. Established in 1896 and named after the inventor of the plague vaccine, Dr. Waldemar Mordecai Haffkine, it has operated as a public trust supported by the State of Maharashtra since 1975, focused on training, research and testing to prevent and cure communicable diseases. Much of its research has been focused on testing, monitoring, prevention and treatment of communicable diseases like Influenza, H1N1 and Rabies.
"As the world comes to terms with the enormity of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to come together to find a cure," said Monish Darda, CTO & Co-founder Icertis. "Helping to take care of our community is part of the Four Rings of Responsibility that every Icertian wears proudly. And with the Haffkine Institute, there is a personal connection to me and Pune as well – I remember the stories my grandfather used to tell me about life during the plague that hit Mumbai and Pune, and the development of the plague vaccine. We are thankful to Haffkine Institute for working tirelessly to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and are proud to play a small part in the global fight to beat COVID-19."
Icertis' gift was made possible by voluntary reductions in pay to CEO and Co-founder Samir Bodas, CTO and Co-founder Monish Darda and continues Icertis' efforts to address the needs of the community. Last month, Icertis donated INR 25 lakh to ensure the safety of brave doctors, nurses, and hospital staff of Naidu Hospital, Pune, with personal protection equipment, including N95 masks, gowns, and gloves, hand sanitizer dispensers, and viral transport media (VTM) kits, which protect test samples in transit to the lab. Since the start of this pandemic, Icertis has contributed more than US$200,000 to the organizations worldwide, including the University of Washington, the German Red Cross and the Seattle Alliance for Education in its effort to contribute to the communities in which it operates.