Tests of new chikungunya fever vaccine successful

Vienna-based biotech company Themis Bioscience GmbH announced successful results on Thursday of its chikungunya fever prophylactic vaccine.

The Themaxyn study was performed on 42 patients at the Vienna General Hospital. The vaccine produced an immune response in the form of antibodies, even in lower doses, and proved to be well tolerated and safe.

"The confirmed tolerance, safety and immune response show the suitability of our Themaxyn platform," Erich Tauber, the founder and CEO of Themis, said. "This uses a standard anti-measles vaccine as a vector and constitutes the basis of our pipeline, comprising a Dengue fever vaccine candidate and vaccine constructs for other rapidly spreading infectious diseases. The anti-measles vaccine has already proven itself a million times over, and hence the Themaxyn platform offers an excellent safety profile and clear advantages in terms of a validated, low-cost production process."

The chikungunya fever epidemic started in the Dominican Republic and spread to Haiti. Isolated cases of the disease have also been observed in the U.S. in recent years. No effective vaccine for the disease has been developed previously.

Chikungunya symptoms include fever, headache, rash, tiredness, nausea and muscle and joint paint.

Themis Bioscience develops vaccines from the preclinical to early clinical phases, focusing specifically on tropical diseases. The company is also developing a vaccine for dengue fever.