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Bharat Biotech claims to have developed world’s first Zika vaccine

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Hyderabad: Even as US media reported a rare case of the Zika virus being “transmitted through sex, and not through mosquito bite”, Bharat Biotech International Limited on Wednesday claimed to have developed Zika vaccine.

Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech International Dr. Krishna Ella told ANI, “We have been working on Zika vaccine for last more than 15 months. The reason we are working, because we have been working on Chikungunya vaccine. We have made a vaccine, which is under clinical trial. We have got two patterns. So, we thought if Chikungunya comes to India, then what is next. So, naturally the same mosquitoes, which transmit Chikungunya, is likely to bring Zika. That’s how we started working on Zika vaccine.”

“We have developed the vaccine and pro vaccine candidate. We filed a patent in July 2015. Probably, this was the first patent filed in July 2015, as nobody has filed before that,” said Dr. Ella.

When asked what sort of help his company received from the Government in developing vaccines, he said, “We are going to ask for some Government help, we don’t want any money from the Government, but we want the Government help us on the strategy on the regulatory issues, and the clinical trial issue. If they can help us, we can make it faster.”

When asked how global market would react to it, he said, “We are not interested in what people think and do, and all that, what we believe in the public heath point of view. A major philosophy of our company is to work on neglected disease. Usually multinationals work on a product which got a global demand, but we work on neglected disease, which is more regional specific. We believe in it and we work on that only.”

The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) claimed a patient in Dallas was infected after having sexual contact with an infected individual, who returned from a country where Zika virus is present.

The World Health Organisation on Monday had declared it an international emergency over the explosive spread of the mosquito-borne virus.

The Indian government had also issued guidelines on Tuesday, following epidemic in Brazil and in other South American countries. (ANI)

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