Bharat Biotech International (BBIL), a vaccine and bio-therapeutics manufacturer, on Wednesday claimed that it is developing the world’s first two promising vaccine candidates called Zikavac for Zika infection. It has developed these two vaccine candidates from an imported live Zika virus, the company said.
The development has come amidst a worldwide scare about the deadly mosquito-borne virus which prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare a global health emergency.
“We have two Zikavac vaccine candidates in development; one is a recombinant vaccine and another an inactivated vaccine that has reached the stage of pre-clinical testing in animals,” Krishna Ella, CMD, said. “We have already patented the vaccine even as other researchers search for a cure to combat the deadly virus, which has been linked to microcephaly – where an infant has an abnormally small head, he said.
However, the trials on animals and humans are yet to be done. “The pre-clinical stages is expected to start this month and may take over five months for completion,” he said. Some of the global companies working on vaccine candidates include Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKlime, NewLink Genetic Corp, Sementis amongst others.
The company has invested over $150 million since inception to build its portfolio of vaccines. The most remarkable vaccine developments include Rotovac, Chikungunya vaccine- entering phase 1 trials shortly and Typbar TCV – a typhoid conjugate vaccine successfully commercialized. It has 50 patents and eight product patents including three for chicken gunya.