Chikungunya Vaccine Succeeds in Phase I: Paving the way for a new generation of vaccines

Themis Bioscience and the Institut Pasteur announce positive chikungunya vaccine results in phase I using revolutionary measles vector

Vienna-based Themis Bioscience, and the Paris based Institut Pasteur announced earlier this week a successful phase I trial of their revolutionary chikungunya vaccine. The phase 1 trial of 42 subjects demonstrated the vaccine to be well tolerated and safe. The trial also revealed that the vaccine is clearly dose-dependant, and that even at very low doses the vaccine elicited neutralising antibodies in every participant.

“We could confirm that our Chikungunya vaccine candidate is well tolerated, safe and elicits the expected immune response.” commented Themis’ founder and CEO, Dr. Erich Tauber. “Considering the ongoing spread of Chikungunya epidemic, we now focus on making the vaccine available as soon as possible. We will also strengthen our already successful alliance with the Institut Pasteur.”

At the end of October there were 780,000 suspected cases of Chikungunya  in the Americas, including 1,627 cases in the USA. With no current vaccine, this trial is a success for those under threat from mosquito-borne viral disease. But the success of this trial also comes in the validation of Themis’ patented measles vector, Themaxyn, which utilises an approved and well known measles virus vaccine. The technology, licensed by the Institut Pasteur, allows for the gene coding of selected antigens to be inserted into the genome of the measles vaccine.

This phase I trial has added substance to the theory that the Themaxyn vector platform could be used to create numerous types of vaccines, and has provided a  strong and positive indication towards the future of the platform in the eyes of regulators as well as regarding the plausibility of high volume low cost production.

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