Bavarian Nordic’s Chikungunya Vaccine Shows Promising Results in Second Phase III Trial

The race to create a successful chikungunya vaccine is intensifying, after Danish biotech Bavarian Nordic announced promising Phase III trial results for its vaccine candidate—marking the second set of positive late-stage data within two months.

Bavarian Nordic’s recently released study of more than 3,500 patients showed that its VLP-based vaccine candidate produced an impressive induction of antibodies that induce chikungunya in as many as 98% of those vaccinated! This powerful development stands in stark contrast to the placebo results, and an even more astounding 97% of the subjects had protective levels of immunity just two weeks after vaccination.

Bavarian Nordic reported that their vaccine proved to be well-tolerated by adolescents and adults alike, as adverse events were mostly mild or moderate.

Bavarian Nordic Rejoice Positive Results in Chikungunya Vaccine Phase III Trial. In June the company reported similar Phase III results for a slightly older group of participants, where 87% of them had chikungunya-neutralizing antibodies within three weeks of vaccination after taking a single dose of the vaccine. The result was a sign of well-tolerance across ages. Now, these new trial results confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine amongst a broader population.

Valneva, a French biotech, has made a dramatic breakthrough in the ongoing race to develop a working chikungunya vaccine. Their effort proved successful, showing a 98.6%-98.9% seroprotection rate across all age ranges assessed. Notably, the seroprotection rate was found to be a perfect 100% amongst the elderly. However, the study also indicated that more than half of patients administering the vaccine experienced adverse events, with two deemed to be related to it.

Valneva’s vaccine has been submitted to the FDA’s rolling submissions and granted Priority Review, with a decision expected this month. To further bolster their success, Bavarian Nordic is using results from their two latest studies to make applications to the FDA and the European Medicines Agency in the hopes of being approved.

Our vaccine aims to be the best in class when it comes to prevention of chikungunya infections in people of all ages – from adolescents to the elderly. This comes from its lightning-fast, durable response, ensuring efficient protection for those who are vulnerable. CEO Paul Chaplin outlines that, as our top priority, we are working towards completing the necessary studies and initiating the process for regulatory submission in 2021.

The vaccine race has recently thinned out following Merck’s shocking retreat in February. The decision to pull out of the field was attributed to a “routine pipeline prioritization” by a company spokesperson. Nevertheless, the sudden move has left other players in the industry with one less competitor to contend with.

Chikungunya, a virus borne by Aedes Aegypti mosquitos, is a widespread disease affecting more than 110 countries – with no known vaccine to combat it. For those infected, the symptoms can be heavy, with as many as 92% facing a symptomatic infection. This high rate of morbidity has brought with it an economic and healthcare burden, though serious and even fatal outcomes are fortunately rare.

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