24 Aug 2021
August 24, 2021 – SEOUL, Republic of Korea – The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced today the first participant received Bharat Biotech International Ltd’s (BBIL) Chikungunya vaccine candidate (BBV87) in a Phase II/III clinical trial in Costa Rica, marking the start of a multi-country study led by IVI in partnership with BBIL and funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) with support from the Ind-CEPI mission of the Department of Biotechnology, India.
IVI is advancing clinical development of BBV87 through a Phase II/III randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a 2-dose regimen of BBV87 Chikungunya vaccine in healthy adults at 9 clinical trial sites across 5 countries with endemic Chikungunya. In addition to the trial at Clinica San Agustin in Costa Rica, trials are expected to begin in Panama and Colombia by September 2021 and in Thailand and Guatemala soon after.
The Global Chikungunya vaccine Clinical Development Program (GCCDP) seeks to develop and manufacture an affordable Chikungunya vaccine with the aim of achieving WHO prequalification to enable its distribution in low- and middle-income countries, consistent with CEPI’s core commitment to equitable access, affordability and sustainability. As needed, CEPI or BBIL may propose a third-party for manufacturing of a stockpile of investigational product to be used for further clinical trials in outbreak conditions to advance vaccine development, or pursuant to an emergency use authorization in emergency situations based on national or international guidance (such as by the WHO).
Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech
Principal Investigator and Director of the Global Chikungunya vaccine Clinical Development (GCCDP) consortium
Today’s announcement furthers CEPI’s US $3.5bn plan, launched in March 2021, to tackle future epidemics and pandemics, which includes advancing vaccine candidates against known high-risk pathogens such as Chikungunya.
CEPI first partnered with IVI and BBIL in June 2020, providing up to US $14.1 million for vaccine manufacturing and clinical development of the BBV87 vaccine candidate. The funding is supported by the European Union’s (EU’s) Horizon 2020 programme through an existing framework partnership agreement with CEPI. The consortium was also supported with a grant of up to US $2.0 million from the Indian Government’s Ind-CEPI initiative to fund the set-up of GMP manufacturing facilities for the vaccine in India and subsequent manufacture of clinical trial materials.
Director of Vaccine Research and Development, CEPI
Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Chairperson, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)
BBIL’s BBV87 vaccine is an inactivated whole virion vaccine based on a strain derived from an East, Central, South African (ECSA) genotype. The vaccine has completed standard pre-clinical studies, and an optimum immune response was elicited by the adjuvanted vaccine in phase 1 clinical trials in India. Inactivated virions technology has a safety profile which potentially makes this vaccine accessible to special populations, such as the immunocompromised and pregnant women, that some other technologies cannot reach.
Chikungunya virus was first identified in Tanzania in 1952, with sporadic outbreaks of the disease reported subsequently across Africa and Asia. In 2004, the disease began to spread quickly, causing large-scale outbreaks around the world. Since the re-emergence of the virus, the total number of cases has been estimated at over 3.4 million in 43 countries.
Chikungunya is spread by the bites of infected female Aedes mosquitoes and causes fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Joint pain is often debilitating and can persist for weeks to years.
Climate change could further amplify the threat posed by Chikungunya. As the climate warms, more areas across the world will become habitable for the mosquito vectors that transmit the virus, thereby increasing the size of the human population at risk of infection. For example, in 2007, an outbreak of Chikungunya virus infections was declared for the first time in Europe with more than 200 human cases reported in Italy Since 2014, in the USA, local transmission of the virus has been reported in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is a nonprofit inter-governmental organization established in 1997 at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). IVI has 36 countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) on its treaty, including Korea, Sweden, India, and Finland as state funders.
Our mandate is to make vaccines available and accessible for the world’s most vulnerable people. We focus on infectious diseases of global health importance such as cholera, typhoid, shigella, salmonella, schistosomiasis, chikungunya, group A strep, Hepatitis A, HPV, TB, HIV, MERS, COVID-19, as well as antimicrobial resistance. For more information, please visit https://www.ivi.int
Bharat Biotech has established an excellent track record of innovation with more than 145 global patents, a wide product portfolio of more than 16 vaccines, 4 bio-therapeutics, registrations in more than 123 countries, and the World Health Organization (WHO) Pre-qualifications. Located in Genome Valley in Hyderabad, India, a hub for the global biotech industry, Bharat Biotech has built world-class vaccine & bio-therapeutics, research & product development, Bio-Safety Level 3 manufacturing, and vaccine supply and distribution. Having delivered more than 4 billion doses of vaccines worldwide, Bharat Biotech continues to lead innovation, and has developed vaccines for influenza H1N1, Rotavirus, Japanese Encephalitis (JENVAC®), Rabies, Chikungunya, Zika, Cholera, and the world’s first tetanus-toxoid conjugated vaccine for Typhoid. Bharat’s commitment to global social innovation programs and public-private partnership resulted in introducing path-breaking WHO prequalified vaccines BIOPOLIO®, ROTAVAC®, and Typbar TCV® combating polio, rotavirus, typhoid infections, respectively. The acquisition of Chiron Behring Vaccines has positioned Bharat Biotech as the world’s largest rabies vaccine manufacturer with Chirorab® and Indirab®.
To learn more about Bharat Biotech, visit www.bharatbiotech.com
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines against future epidemics. Prior to COVID-19 CEPI’s work focused on developing vaccines against Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus – it has over 20 vaccine candidates against these pathogens in development. CEPI has also invested in new platform technologies for rapid vaccine development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).
During the current pandemic, CEPI initiated multiple programmes to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants with a focus on speed, scale, and access. These programmes leverage the rapid response platforms developed by CEPI’s partners prior to the emergence of COVID-19 as well as new collaborations. The aim is to advance clinical development of a diverse portfolio of safe and effective COVID-19 candidates and to enable fair allocation to these vaccines worldwide through COVAX.
CEPI’s 5-year plan lays out a $3.5 billion roadmap to compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days, develop a universal vaccine against COVID-19 and other Betacoronaviruses, and create a “library” of vaccine candidates for use against known and unknown pathogens. The plan is available at endpandemics.cepi.net.
The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India is implementing the Ind-CEPI mission ‘India Centric Epidemic Preparedness through Rapid Vaccine Development: Supporting Indian Vaccine Development Aligned with the Global Initiative of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)’. Ind-CEPI Mission aims to strengthen the development of vaccines for the diseases of epidemic potential in India as well as build coordinated preparedness in the Indian public health system and vaccine industry to address existing and emergent infectious threats in India.
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