Valneva single-dose chikungunya vaccine poised to ‘revolutionize’ global health

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Valneva Chikungunya Vaccine Virus

Valneva recently received the greenlight for IXCHIQ by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), marking the approval of the world’s first chikungunya vaccine.

The single dose vaccine for the prevention of disease caused by the chikungunya virus (CHIKV) has the potential to mitigate a major public health threat, and prevent millions of cases of chikungunya worldwide, says data and analytics company GlobalData.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease, characterized by fever, severe joint pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash, that has been identified in over 110 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Stephanie Kurdach, infectious disease analyst at GlobalData, comments: “In spite of the significant disease burden, there are currently no treatment options for chikungunya, and prevention has previously relied upon the avoidance of mosquito bites. The approval of IXCHIQ therefore addresses an important unmet need and has the potential to benefit millions of lives.”

Valneva’s phase 3 data demonstrated positive seroresponse rates 28 days post-vaccination and six months post-vaccination, exhibiting the vaccine’s ability to sustain antibody responses over time.

The company has also partnered with Instituto Butantan to continue clinical testing of the vaccine and make it accessible to those most affected by chikungunya in low and middle income countries.

Kurdach continues: “IXCHIQ’s approval in the US will enhance Valneva’s travel vaccines business unit and add to a portfolio of vaccines against diseases such as Japanese encephalitis and cholera/enterotoxigenic E. coli.

“However, over time, IXCHIQ will be the most advantageous for individuals in LMICs, as it only requires one dose for maximum effectiveness. This ensures protection from CHIKV, while eliminating possible access constraints.”

The US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet at the end of February 2024, where they will vote on the recommended use of IXCHIQ. 

According to GlobalData, there are also four other vaccines currently in late-stage development, phase 2 or phase 3, for chikungunya.

One particular product of interest is Bavarian Nordic’s CHIKV VLP, a subunit vaccine in phase 3 clinical testing which has reported positive safety and immunogenicity data.

The treatment has received Breakthrough Therapy designation and Fast Track designation from the FDA, as well as PRIME (PRIority MEdicines) designation from European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Kurdach concludes: “Mosquitoes are the world’s deadliest animals. The approval of IXCHIQ is a major milestone in the prevention of chikungunya, especially as climate change and current travel patterns are exacerbating the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, thereby increasing the demand for effective prophylactic options.”

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