Prof Guntaka was first scientist who introduced recombinant biotech drugs in India by making Hep-B vaccine for Shantha biotech company in 1990s. Now he is running his company Sudarshan Biotech and is involved in the discovery of Hep-C vaccine which is not available anywhere in the world.
It is a privilege to have Dr. Ramareddy in the Advisory Board of Biotech Express magazine. Biotech Express welcome Prof Guntaka on its editorial board and we believe his accord will be much useful in current viral pandemic times.
Dr. Ramareddy’s research background is in the field of Microbiology and he is an outstanding vaccine researcher who was the chief scientific resource in the success of India’s first biotechnology company i.e. Shantha Biotech.
He earned his Ph.D in Microbiology from Kansas State University, Manhattan in (1970). He was graduated with B.Sc in Chemistry and Biology, A.N.R. College, Gudivada, India and got his M.Sc in Microbiology from U.P. Agricultural University, Pantnagar, U.P., India (1965).
To use his expertise in the field of virology which is utmost importance in this current pandemic, we decided to invite him as an advisory member of board which Prof Guntaka has agreed to join. To give more information to readers about his thinking process we posed some questions to get his vision and mission. These can be framed as following:
Q1. Sir how are you planning to contribute to this magazine?
Through Biotech Express we can provide information to the public on various issues related to health, state of the art developments in science and Technology etc. Up to date information on the COVID pandemic and the efficacy of various available vaccines which is vital for the citizens of India.
Q2. Sir what are your prime focus now after Hep-B?
Our primary focus is to bring vaccine for Hepatitis C and bring high value therapeutics at an affordable price. Many antigens used in the diagnostic kits are not made in India; most of these are currently imported. We already have several of them at Sudarshan Biotech and now we can market them.
Q3. Sir, what are your suggestions to scientific community which is involved in this current COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 pandemic is an unusual disease. As everybody is aware, it is affecting all the age groups, although more devastating to the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions. As an scientist we may look at vaccines and drugs that are more safe and efficient, healthcare workers may use more precautions to get away from infection and govt. may use data statistics to make more robust guidelines. For example, I have discussed earlier through this magazine that how we can avoid lockdowns which is subsequently affecting huge population and leading to unemployment and sufferings.
Q. What is your company Sudarshan biotech is manufacturing and what are future goals of this biotech company now?
Until recently Sudershan Biotech was located in a residential area and we are not allowed to manufacture any biotech products. Now we have relocated to Nacharam where we can manufacture. Sudershan Biotech is a Research oriented company and we have several patents including Hepatitis C virus sequence, Human Serum Albumin in Pichia pastoris, therapeutics like Interferon beta1a and 1b in E. coli. Soon we will start producing these and start clinical trials. We will also produce antigens for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C viruses as well as Human Immunodeficiency virus.
Prof Guntaka Ramareddy has received many honors and awards like Government of India Merit Scholarship, 1963-1965; American Cancer Society Senior Dernham Fellowship, 1973-1975; Research Career Development Award from National Institutes of Health 1979-1984 and many others.
He has been appointed in various positions like Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia; Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University; Assistant Research Microbiologist, University of CaIifornia, San Francisco. In his research career he has published over 110 research papers in reputed journals including Nature and also holds a patent.
Among the discovery of Hep B vaccine his other outstanding pioneer contributions are:
1. First group (with Bishop and Varmus) to show that retrovirus DNA replication occurs in the cytoplasm and then in the nucleus of infected cells and to show accumulation of supercoiled DNA in the nuclei of retrovirus-infected cells.
3 First group (Shank, Bishop, Varmus; Taylor) to demonstrate the presence of Long Terminal Repeats (LTRs) at the ends of retroviral DNA.
4. First group (with Stehelin, Bishop, Varmus) to discover proto-oncogenes.
5. First one to clone an infectious Rous sarcoma virus DNA (Walter Gilbert’ group sequenced this clone).
6. First to show methylation of provirus in non-permissive cells.
7. Demonstrated formation of triplexes of Triplex-forming oligonucleotide with the collagen gene promoter (resulted in a patent assignment to Guntaka).
8. First group to sequence the Indian strain of Hepatitis C Virus.
Last Updated on June 20, 2021