Domestic Cadila Healthcare Ltd (Zydus Cadila) and Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd announced on Tuesday a partnership to tackle chikungunya and other emerging infectious diseases. The broad-based agreement includes early stage development to the final commercialisation of the vaccine. There is currently no vaccine to prevent the disease or any medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection.
Dr. Rahul Singhvi, Takeda Vaccines’ Chief Operating Officer said, chikungunya can be prevented by vaccines, and a vaccine might be licensed more quickly if we can accelerate development with this Zydus partnership.
Chikungunya has been identified in over 60 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. After the bite of an infected mosquito, the onset of illness occurs usually between 4 and 8 days later, but can range from 2 to 12 days. In some people, joint pain may persist for months. People at risk for severe indications include newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults of 65 and above and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.
Since 2005, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, and Thailand have reported over 1.9 million cases and almost 1.3 million suspected cases of chikungunya have been recorded in the Caribbean islands, Latin American countries, and the US until 2015.
The chikungunya virus most often is spread to people by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the same vectors that spread dengue and zika.