International Vaccine Institute (IVI) has announced that Bharat Biotech’s Chikungunya vaccine candidate (BBV87) has entered into Phase II and III clinical trials. Currently, there is no commercial chikungunya vaccine.
- BBV87 is an inactivated virus vaccine, similar to Covaxin.
- Inactivated vaccines contain viruses whose genetic material has been destroyed by heat, chemicals or radiation so they cannot infect cells and replicate, but can still trigger an immune response.
- Bharat Biotech’s Chikungunya vaccine candidate was developed in partnership with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI).
- Development of Chikungunya Vaccine is an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as part of the Global Chikungunya Vaccine Clinical Development Program (GCCDP).
- It 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.
- Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952.
- The name is derived from the local Kimakonde language and means “to become contorted”, evoking the stooped appearance of patients suffering acute joint pain.
- It is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.
- It is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus.