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Indian company claims breakthrough in developing vaccine to fight Zika

Hyderabad based vaccines and bio-therapeutic manufacturer Bharat Biotech has claimed this Wednesday that they have been able to develop a vaccine against the Zika virus. Zika virus is a dreaded virus which causes birth defects in new born children, mainly reducing their head size as compared to the body.

Krishna Ella, CMD of Bharat Biotech said: “We believe we have an early mover advantage in developing the Zikavac and we are probably the first in the world to file for global patent for Zika vaccine candidates.

He added “We have two candidate vaccines in development. One of them is an inactivated vaccine that has reached the stage of pre-clinical testing in animals”

Bharat Biotech had started work on the Zika Virus about a year ago and are the first company to have achieved this breakthrough.

At this moment, Zika virus is causing panic in 23 countries. The problem is especially grave in Brazil, which has been most affected by this virus. A total of 3530 cases have been reported in the year 2015 itself.

zika

“We hope to announce the arrival of Zikavac to the world as early as possible,” Ella said.

“Considering that women of child-bearing age and pregnant women are the prime target group for Zika virus vaccine, we consider safety as the overriding factor in development of a new vaccine for this virus. The vaccine methods developed early on, before the devastating consequences of the epidemics in Brazil came to light provided us a push to accelerate vaccine development,” Dr Sumathy, Director, R&D, Bharat Biotech said.
Currently, the vaccine maker is focusing towards scale up and characterization of the vaccine product, Ella further said.

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