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CEPI partners with Valneva to develop Chikungunya vaccine

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is partnering with biotech company Valneva to fund the development of a single-dose vaccine for the disease Chikungunya.

Chikungunya is spread by the bites of infected female Aedes mosquitoes. It causes fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash. As the climate warms, more areas across the world will become habitable for the mosquitoes that transmit the virus, thus increasing the number of humans at risk.

Since the Chikungunya virus re-emerged in 2004 after a period of dormancy, about 3.4 million cases in 43 countries have been identified. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called Chikungunya a significant public health risk. In the United States, the virus has been reported in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

CEPI will provide Valneva with up to $23.4 million in funding for vaccine manufacturing and late-stage clinical development of a single-dose, live-attenuated vaccine for Chikungunya.

“Millions of people have been affected by Chikungunya and, today, over a billion people live in areas where Chikungunya outbreaks occur. Despite the large outbreaks and significant consequences of this disease, there is currently no specific antiviral drug treatment nor are any vaccines licensed for human use against this virus. Through our partnership with Valneva, we hope to speed up the development of a Chikungunya vaccine, ensure that the people most affected by this virus can benefit from this product, and by doing so help to alleviate the burden of this debilitating disease,” Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, said.

The funding will help accelerate regulatory approval of Valneva’s single-dose Chikungunya vaccine for use in regions where outbreaks occur. Valneva will maintain a stockpile of the vaccine and work to transfer the secondary manufacturing of the vaccine to places where outbreaks of Chikungunya have occurred.

CEPI has invested over $66 million in two Chikungunya vaccine candidates and two RVF vaccine candidates this year.

Dave Kovaleski

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