Chikungunya vaccine project to get up to $16 mn funding

CEPI, Ind-CEPI to fund a consortium comprising Bharat Biotech, International Vaccine Institute

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) will fund a consortium comprising Bharat Biotech and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) up to $14.1 million for vaccine manufacturing and clinical development of a two-dose live-inactivated vaccine (BBV87) against Chikungunya.

Further, the consortium will be supported with a grant of up to $2 million from the Indian government’s Ind-CEPI initiative, which will fund the set-up of GMP manufacturing facilities for the vaccine in India and the subsequent manufacture of clinical trial materials.

A release from Bharat Biotech on Thursday, on the CEPI and Ind-CEPI funding for the consortium, said in addition to manufacturing, the partnering agreement will finance a multi-centre Phase 2/3 adaptive clinical trial to be conducted by IVI in Colombia, Panama and Thailand. The trial will provide crucial data about the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate.

The partnership will build on Bharat Biotech’s experience of developing and supplying affordable vaccines as well as WHO prequalification procedures to ensure affordable access to the vaccine in countries where Chikungunya is endemic, in line with CEPI’s core commitment to equitable access.

CEO of CEPI Richard Hatchett said through this partnership with Bharat Biotech and IVI “we will accelerate the clinical development of the Chikungunya vaccine candidate.”

The investment is part of CEPI’s third call for proposals that was launched in January 2019. Since the launch of this call, over $80 million of CEPI core funding has been committed to three Chikungunya vaccine candidates and two Rift Valley Fever vaccine candidates.

On BBV87 vaccine candidate, the release said it is an inactivated whole virion vaccine based on a strain derived from an East, Central, South African (ECSA) genotype. The vaccine has completed standard pre-clinical studies and an optimum immune response was elicited by the adjuvanted vaccine in phase 1 clinical trials in India.

Secretary to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) Renu Swarup said under the Ind-CEPI mission, DBT, Government of India will support Bharat Biotech for this collaborative project, the first initiative of this mission, to expedite the development of Chikungunya vaccine.

Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech Krishna Ella said, “We are hopeful that with accelerated clinical development in endemic countries, the candidate CHIK vaccine will be successful.”

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 4:29:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/chikungunya-vaccine-project-to-get-up-to-16-mn-funding/article31741673.ece

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