Specialty vaccine company Valneva and Instituto Butantan signed an agreement to develop Valneva’s single-shot chikungunya vaccine, VLA1553, in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
As part of the collaboration, Valneva will transfer its chikungunya vaccine technology to Instituto Butantan, who will develop, manufacture, and commercialize the vaccine in LMICs. Further, Instituto Butantan will provide clinical and Phase 4 observational studies that Valneva will use to meet regulatory requirements.
“The dreadful impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world has underlined the importance of vaccines to combat public health crises. Chikungunya outbreaks have impacted over 120 countries and affected millions, yet no vaccine or treatment is currently available to prevent this debilitating disease. We look forward to working with Instituto Butantan to help address this urgent public health need and speed up the development of a chikungunya vaccine in LMICs, which are high outbreak risk areas,” Thomas Lingelbach, CEO of Valneva, said.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by the chikungunya virus, transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Infection leads to disease in 72 percent to 92 percent of humans after 4 to 7 days following the mosquito bite. As of September 2020, there have been more than 3 million reported cases in the Americas.
“Within the concept of the relevance of qualified partnerships for complementary actions with an impact on society, the relationship established between the Butantan Institute and Valneva is extremely significant and auspicious. It is a partnership that allows the development and national production of an immunizer highly relevant to the Brazilian public health system and which will allow the prevention of thousands of annual cases of Chikungunya virus infections and their consequences,” Dr. Dimas Covas, director of Instituto Butantan, said.
VLA1553 is a live-attenuated, single-dose vaccine candidate for protection against chikungunya disease and is currently tested in clinical Phase 3. Valneva is the first company to advance a chikungunya vaccine candidate into Phase 3.
“Over the past 15-20 years, we have seen the expansion of Chikungunya outbreaks around the world—particularly affecting people living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Chikungunya is a truly debilitating disease, causing symptoms, which can last for months and the risk of permanent disability from long-term complications. This agreement will accelerate the development and manufacturing of this vaccine candidate for LMICs, in keeping with CEPI’s core commitment to enable equitable access to vaccines,” said Dr. Melanie Saville, director of vaccine development at Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which has a funding agreement with Valneva.