Vaccines company Valneva on Monday reported positive 12-month antibody persistence data for its single-shot Chikungunya vaccine candidate.
The firm said in a statement it was currently on track to complete its submission for license application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of the year.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes to humans. The word ‘chikungunya’ means ‘that which bends up’, an allusion to the posture of the suffering patients. The most common clinical form associates fever, arthralgia and rash. Recovery is the usual outcome but chronic arthritis is not rare. Diagnostic tests are available but there is no antiviral treatment or licensed vaccine. The disease is notifiable at EU level.
Chikungunya virus disease has caused numerous epidemics in Africa and Asia. In 2005-2006 a major outbreak occurred in the Indian Ocean. Imported cases were found in Asia, Australia, USA, Canada and continental Europe. In 2007, an outbreak of autochthonous chikungunya virus infections took place for the first time in Europe (Italy). In 2010 and 2014, autochthonous cases were reported in France. In December 2013, chikungunya emerged in the Caribbean and quickly spread in the Americas. Now the virus has spread to the whole (sub) tropical regions of America, Africa and Asia.
The risk of the chikungunya virus spreading in EU is high due to importation through infected travellers, presence of competent vectors in many countries (particularly around the Mediterranean coast) and population susceptibility.