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New single-dose chikungunya vax to revolutionise global health: Report

New single-dose chikungunya vax to revolutionise global health: Report
Photo Credit : IANS

New Delhi:  Ixchiq, the world’s first chikungunya vaccine, has the potential to mitigate a major public health threat, and prevent millions of cases of chikungunya worldwide, according to a report on Thursday.

The vaccine, developed by French biotech company Valneva, recently was granted approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for individuals 18 years of age and older who are at increased risk of exposure to chikungunya virus.

Ixchiq is a single-dose, live-attenuated vaccine for use in adults 18 years of age and older, for the prevention of disease caused by the chikungunya virus (CHIKV).

“In spite of the significant disease burden, there are currently no treatment options for chikungunya, and prevention has previously relied upon the avoidance of mosquito bites. The approval of Ixchiq therefore addresses an important unmet need and has the potential to benefit millions of lives,” said Stephanie Kurdach, Infectious Disease Analyst at GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

Valneva’s pivotal Phase III data demonstrated positive seroresponse rates 28 days post-vaccination and six months post-vaccination, exhibiting the vaccine’s ability to sustain antibody responses over time.

Valneva has also partnered with Instituto Butantan to continue clinical testing of the vaccine and make it accessible to those most affected by chikungunya in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

“Ixchiq’s approval in the US will enhance Valneva’s travel vaccines business unit and add to a portfolio of vaccines against diseases such as Japanese encephalitis and cholera/enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC),” Kurdach said.

“However, over time, Ixchiq will be the most advantageous for individuals in LMICs, as it only requires one dose for maximum effectiveness. This ensures protection from CHIKV, while eliminating possible access constraints,” Kurdach added.

The US Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices (ACIP) will meet at the end of February 2024 to vote on the recommended use of Ixchiq.

According to GlobalData, there are also four other vaccines currently in late-stage development (PII-III) for chikungunya.

One product of interest is Bavarian Nordic’s CHIKV VLP, a subunit vaccine in Phase III clinical testing which has reported positive safety and immunogenicity data.

CHIKV VLP has received breakthrough therapy designation and fast track designation from the FDA, as well as PRIME (PRIority MEdicines) designation from European Medicines Agency (EMA).

“Mosquitoes are the world’s deadliest animals. The approval of IXCHIQ is a major milestone in the prevention of chikungunya, especially as climate change and current travel patterns are exacerbating the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, thereby increasing the demand for effective prophylactic options,” Kurdach said.

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