Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
A prophylactic vaccine against chikungunya virus, developed by Themis Bioscience GmbH (Vienna, Austria), will be tested in a new Phase II trial in Puerto Rico, an endemic disease area, from August 2017.
The vaccine is currently considered to be one of the most advanced candidates for chikungunya virus globally. The candidate is based on measles vaccine as vector, which Themis reports provides a good safety profile and proven immunogenicity. The vaccine is comprized of genes coding for selected chikungunya antigens inserted into the measles vector’s genome, and when administered will be delivered directly to dendritic cells and macrophages.
The candidate has previously demonstrated promising results, with high seroconversion rates in Phase I trials. The findings reported that 100% of all vaccinated candidates in these trials produced antibodies against the virus, suggesting the vaccine is highly efficacious.
There are currently two parallel Phase II trials already underway, in the USA and in Austria and Germany.
Speaking on the US trial, Erich taber, CEO of Themis, commented: “We are proud of the support of the National Institutes of Health (MD, USA), which will sponsor the trial. In turn, Themis will provide all necessary doses of the vaccine in order to enroll up to 180 persons for this clinical trial and the clinical data will be used for regulatory purposes.”
The additional trial is intended to evaluate the influence of previous exposure to chikungunya on the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine, taking place in Puerto Rico from August 2017.