Themis Bioscience Chikungunya vaccine candidate shows successful first trial

Vienna-based biotech company Themis Bioscience GmbH recently confirmed in a phase 1 clinical study that a Chikungunya fever prophylactic vaccine safely induces a significant neutralizing immune response.

The Chikungunya virus is spread by mosquitoes and causes an illness consisting of two to five days of an acute febrile phase, which is followed by longer periods of joint pains in extremities.

The Caribbean is currently experiencing a Chikungunya epidemic that is now threatening the North American continent.

The vaccine candidate, which uses a standard anti-measles vaccine as a vector, exhibited the required immune response system through the neutralizing of antibodies. The lowest doses administered were shown to be effective, with higher doses increasing the effectiveness.

"The confirmed tolerance, safety and immune response show the suitability of our Themaxyn platform," Erich Tauber, the CEO and founder 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."

There is currently no effective vaccine for Chikungunya available.