India's Bharat Biotech poised to enter clinic with Zika vaccine, report says

Research

Chasing two U.S.-developed vaccine candidates, India’s Bharat Biotech says it’s ready to start testing its Zika shot in humans. It just needs the go-ahead from Indian officials to get started, according to a local media report.

The company has wrapped up preclinical work on Zikavac, an inactivated shot that Bharat believes could win fast-track support from authorities, and is awaiting a government nod to proceed, according to Livemint. India is among the countries most vulnerable to a Zika outbreak, a recent Lancet study found.

Bharat’s proposed Phase I trial would test the vaccine in about 100 participants, Livemint reported.

Whitepaper

Simplify and Accelerate Drug R&D With the MarkLogic Data Hub Service for Pharma R&D

Researchers are often unable to access the information they need. And, even when data does get consolidated, researchers find it difficult to sift through it all and make sense of it in order to confidently draw the right conclusions and share the right results. Discover how to quickly and easily find, synthesize, and share information—accelerating and improving R&D.

Earlier this year, as the Zika outbreak exploded around the globe and companies started jumping into the R&D fray, Bharat Biotech was routinely named as a frontrunner. Now, if it’s able to advance its candidate, the biotech would be among the first organizations to enter the clinic.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals and the U.S. National Institutes of Health have entered Phase I with their Zika vaccine candidates. Inovio hit the milestone first, in June, and NIH followed up in August.

Analysts estimate a Zika vaccine could be a $1 billion opportunity, or more, because travelers from the U.S. and Europe would be able to pay a high price for protection. In endemic areas, disease experts envision vaccination campaigns targeting girls before puberty, because of the virus' links to birth defects. In boys, a vaccine could protect against future sexual transmission.

Larger companies in the Zika vaccine R&D effort are Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline and Takeda, which each have paired with U.S. government entities to advance their research.

Related Articles:
Inovio kicks off its second Zika vax trial
Thanks to travelers, Zika could be a $1B+ vaccine opportunity: Reuters
Sanofi enlists for top Army hospital’s fight against Zika virus
Takeda joins frenzied Zika vaccine hunt in $312M deal with U.S. government
GSK jumps into Zika vax hunt on heels of Sanofi's deal
NIH kicks off PhI trial for Zika vax as caseload rises in U.S.

Suggested Articles

At one point, Novartis even offered up $90 apiece for the inclisiran developer but would later say even $85 was too much, a securities filing shows.

Sanofi spent months hyping its Tuesday investor event, and new CEO Paul Hudson certainly laid out a different vision for the drugmaker at the confab.

After more than 10 years as partners, Sanofi and Regeneron are splitting up their deal to comarket PCSK9 med Praluent and immunology drug Kevzara.