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Indian biotechnology firm working on two possible Zika vaccines

Indian biotechnology firm working on two possible Zika vaccines

India

A biotechonology company in India says it is working on two possible Zika virus vaccines.

The Managing Director of Bharat Biotech Dr. Krishna Ella said work started on a vaccine a year ago when they were developing vaccines for dengue fever and chikungunya also transmitted by the same Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

“We have developed two vaccine candidates and we filed in July 2015, we filed a patent also. Probably this is the first global patent filed in 2015 July, nobody has filed before that,” Dr. Ella said.

We have developed two vaccine candidates and we filed in July 2015, we filed a patent also. Probably this is the first global patent filed in 2015 July, nobody has filed before that

There is no vaccine for Zika virus yet . Based in southern Hyberabad city, Bharat Biotech International Limited is the third company to have embarked on developing a vaccine for the disease “spreading explosively” in the Americas.

Two companies, French drug maker Sanofi Aventis and Takeda pharmaceuticals in Japan also announced on Wednesday projects to develop a Zika virus vaccine.

The private company will seek government support to fast track the regulatory process.

“See we are going to ask some government help. We don’t want any money from the government but we want the government to help us on the strategy and the regulatory issues and the clinical trial issues. If they can help us make it (Zika vaccine) faster.” Dr. Ella said.

Dr. Ella said the animal safety and toxicology studies on the vaccine will begin next month and it will be followed by clinical trials.

Meanwhile Brazil has declared “war” on the mosquito spreading the Zika virus. In a televised national address President Dilma Rouseff called on people to mobilise their communities and rid the country of the mosquito.

“All of us need to take part in this battle. We need the help and good will from everyone. Collaborate, mobilise your family and your community.I will insist, since science has not yet developed a vaccine against the Zika virus, the only efficient method we have to prevent this illness, is the vigourous battle against the mosquito”.President Rouseff said.

President Rouseff pledged to protect and support babies with microcephaly and the affected families.

“I want to transmit a special and comforting message to women, especially to mothers and to future mothers. We will do everything, absolutely everything in our reach to protect you. We will do everything, absolutely everything we can to offer support to the children affected by microcephaly and their families. We are mobilising our public health system and our assistance clinics and all necessary resources to help the children affected by microcephaly” President Rouseff said.

Nearly 400 babies were born with microcephaly, birth defect linked to teh zika virus.

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