Chikungunya: the world’s first vaccine approved

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Great success for the Austrian-French vaccine manufacturer Valneva: the world’s first vaccine against the chikungunya virus developed by the company has been approved in the US, the pharmaceutical company based in Vienna and near Nantes (France) announced on Friday.

The single-dose live vaccine, called Ixchiiq, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people 18 years and older who are at increased risk for chikungunya infection. The company said it was an accelerated approval based on neutralizing antibody titers.

The continued existence of this indication depends on evidence of clinical benefit in confirmatory studies, Valneva explained. The company announced Phase III regulatory data for the vaccine in March 2022, showing a 98.9 percent seroresponse rate after 28 days with a single vaccination.

The antibody response is still under investigation
The vaccine-induced seror response persisted at a rate of 96.3 percent even six months after vaccination. The company’s Phase III results were also published in the renowned medical journal Lancet in June 2023. According to Valneva, they will continue to investigate antibody persistence for at least another five years.

Due to climate change, the range of mosquito species that transmit the infection is increasing. In 2007, the first outbreak involving more than 300 patients occurred in Italy, and in recent years small outbreaks have also been reported in southern France.

No broadcast in Austria yet
All affected people in Austria so far became infected while traveling; domestic transmission has never been reported. In recent years, there have been an estimated five million cases of Chikungunya in about a hundred countries around the world.

With US approval, IXCHIQ is the first approved chikungunya vaccine in the world, Valneva pointed out. It is also the third vaccine that Valneva has taken from early research and development to approval.

Source: Krone

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