Express Pharma

Hyderabad lab claims breakthrough in developing Zika vaccine

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Bharat Biotech have two candidate vaccines in development. One of them is an inactivated vaccine that has reached the stage of pre-clinical testing in animals

Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad-based vaccines and bio-therapeutic manufacturer, claimed to have achieved a breakthrough in developing a vaccine to fight the dreaded mosquito-borne Zika virus, which causes serious birth defects in children.

Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, said, “We believe we have an early mover advantage in developing the Zikavac and we are probably the first in the world to file for global patent for Zika vaccine candidates.”

“We have two candidate vaccines in development. One of them is an inactivated vaccine that has reached the stage of pre-clinical testing in animals,” Ella said.

“We hope to announce the arrival of Zikavac to the world as early as possible,” he said. Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, which can breed in a pool of water as small as a bottle cap and usually bite during the day. The mosquito-transmitted infection is related to Dengue, Yellow Fever and West Nile virus.

“Considering that women of child-bearing age and pregnant women are the prime target group for Zika virus vaccine, we consider safety as the overriding factor in development of a new vaccine for this virus. The vaccine methods developed early on, before the devastating consequences of the epidemics in Brazil came to light provided us a push to accelerate vaccine development,” Dr Sumathy, Director, R&D, Bharat Biotech said.

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