Bharat Biotech becomes first to file global patent for vaccine against Zika virus

In a major breakthrough announcement, the Hyderabad based vaccine major, Bharat Biotech International unveiled two vaccine candidates to protect humans against the outbreak of the Zika virus that may cause birth defects when pregnant women are infected

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The press statement from Bharat Biotech mentioned, “Currently, our efforts are towards scale-up and characterization of the vaccine product. Our interest in Zika virus, an obscure virus when we started the project a year ago, was that the clinical features at an early stage of infection are indistinguishable from that of dengue and chikungunya.”

The first in the world so far to file for a global patent for Zika vaccine candidates, Bharat Biotech has named its vaccine candidate as Zikavac. The two candidates include an inactivated vaccine that has reached the stage of pre-clinical testing in animals, and a recombinant vaccine.

“The first thing is to be prepared for the worst,” mentioned Dr  Krishna Ella, chairman of vaccine maker Bharat Biotech. The virus that has already spread to 22 countries is fast becoming a cause of serious concern among the health policy makers across world.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of drug maker Sanofi too has launched a vaccine research and development project aimed at preventing infections from the virus.

The World Health Organization in its recent statement drew attention to the fact that increase in clusters of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities reported in Latin America which is affected by mosquito-borne Zika virus, constitute a public health emergency of international concern.

 

VIABioVoice Hyderabad Bureau
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Rahul Koul is the New Delhi-based journalist who writes on a variety of topics related to the life sciences sector. For more than a decade, Rahul has been covering the industry and academia extensively besides contributing to many knowledge reports periodically. While being a qualified biotechnologist, he also has academic credentials in management and journalism. Rahul’s assignments have taken him to different destinations within the country and abroad. He received CyberMedia Person of the Year Award (Speciality Media Group Category) for journalism successively in 2010 and 2011.