In news– A multi-country phase II/III clinical trial of Bharat Biotech’s chikungunya vaccine candidate BBV87 by the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) started in Costa Rica.
About the vaccine
- The two-dose Chikungunya vaccine is inactivated whole virion jab similar to Covaxin.
- Inactivated virions technology has a safety profile which potentially makes this vaccine accessible to special populations, such as immune-compromised and pregnant women.
- BBV87 is an inactivated whole virion vaccine based on a strain derived from an East, Central, South African (ECSA) genotype.
- The phase I clinical trials of the vaccine candidate were conducted in India.
- The vaccine candidate had elicited an “optimum immune response” in the first phase of the clinical trials after completion of standard pre-trial clinical studies.
- Its phase II/III randomized, controlled trial of the adjuvanted Chikungunya vaccine candidate for adults will be held at sites across five countries – Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Thailand and Guatemala.
- Bharat Biotech’s vaccine candidate is an ingenious, well-researched vaccine.
A collaborative effort
- Bharat Biotech’s Chikungunya vaccine candidate was developed in partnership with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as part of The Global Chikungunya Vaccine Clinical Development Program (GCCDP).
- GCCD seeks to develop and manufacture an affordable chikungunya vaccine with the aim of achieving WHO prequalification to enable its distribution in low- and middle-income countries.
- A multi-country study on the efficacy of the vaccine candidate was funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) with support from the Ind-CEPI mission of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
- It is an RNA virus that belongs to the alphavirus genus of the family Togaviridae.
- The name “chikungunya” derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain (arthralgia).
- It was first identified in Tanzania in 1952.
- Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected female Aedes mosquitoes.
- Symptoms of the virus include severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rashes.
- Joint pain associated with chikungunya is often debilitating, and can vary in duration.
- There is currently no vaccine or specific drug against the virus.
- The treatment is focused on relieving the disease symptoms.
- The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and Zika, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common.
- The disease mostly occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. However a major outbreak in 2015 affected several countries of the Region of the Americas, and sporadic outbreaks are seen elsewhere.
International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
- It is a nonprofit International Organization established in 1997 as an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- It is among the few organizations in the world dedicated to vaccines and vaccination for global health.
- Mission: Discover, develop and deliver safe, effective and affordable vaccines for global public health.
- IVI is headquartered in Seoul and hosted by the Republic of Korea with 36 member countries and the WHO on its treaty.