Even though many people around the world currently have a laser focus on Zika, development projects for vaccines against other mosquito-borne viruses remain important. This week, Austrian biotech Themis Bioscience said it’s starting a Phase II for its Chikungunya virus vaccine, what it calls “the most advanced” candidate of its kind.
Themis will test its Chikungunya vaccine in a dose confirmation study with 320 volunteers who will receive a middle or high dose either in a single injection or two separated by one month. The vaccine is based on the company’s Themaxyn platform, which was developed through a partnership with the Institut Pasteur.
Trial sites will be in either Germany or Austria, but the study “is aimed at the registration of our vaccine candidate on a world-wide basis,” CEO Erich Tauber said in a statement. The biotech plans further Phase II trials in the U.S. and Caribbean.
"With outbreaks in many regions of the world, the Chikungunya virus remains a growing risk in endemic areas,” Tauber said in a statement. “A prophylactic vaccine against Chikungunya is highly desirable and we are happy to be able to offer this important vaccine candidate that is now undergoing a Phase 2 clinical trial."
Themis’ Phase II trial launch follows the company’s €10 million ($11.1 million) fundraise last year, a portion of which was to fund the trial. It also comes after the company in July expanded its Institut Pasteur partnership into Zika; it’s planning clinical trials within 12 months.
The NIAID is also working on a vaccine against chikungunya, which can cause fever and joint pain, among other symptoms. Additionally, just this week, Hawaii Biotech secured a NIAID small business research grant to work in the area. It’ll collaborate with the Baylor College of Medicine and the Sabin Vaccine Institute on a project utilizing the biotech’s vaccine platform.
Themis rounds up new cash for Chikungunya jab's PhII
NIAID to bring Chikungunya vaccine into Phase II
Themis Biosciences nabs Institut Pasteur license for Zika vax; clinical trials planned