Vaccine for Chikungunya fever begins clinical trials

Themis Bioscience announced on Thursday that a vaccine for Chikungunya fever is undergoing phase one clinical trials for the first time at Vienna General Hospital.

The disease originally came from tropical countries, but is a growing threat in urban countries as a result of increased world travel. It is passed to humans through mosquito bites and is spreading through Africa and Asia.

The goal of phase one clinical study is to demonstrate the safety of the vaccine and its ability to enhance a strong immune response. The vaccine will be tested on 36 candidates in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the Vienna hospital.

The vaccine is based on a standard anti-measles vaccine and the company's Themaxyn platform. The company is also developing a vaccine for the Dengue fever. Both vaccines have shown positive results in preclinical studies.

The clinical trial of the Chikyngunya fever vaccine will provide "proof of concept" for the Themaxyn platform.

"The Themaxyn platform is a further development of a standard anti-measles vaccine," Dr. Erich Tauber, the founder and CEO of Themis, said. "In addition to its excellent safety and production profile, it has also proven its high efficacy millions of times over."

Results from the Chikungunya vaccine clinical trials are expected during 2014.