India develops world’s first Zika virus vaccine

INTERgeniszikaWith a worldwide scare about the Zika virus continuing, India’s Bharat Biotech International Limited, based in Hyderabad, has successfully developed and patented the world’s first Zika vaccine.

The firm has developed two candidate vaccines using a live imported Zika virus. Trials on animals and humans have not yet begun and reports say they might still be a long time away.

Chairman and managing director of BBIL Dr. Krishna Ella says he contacted the Indian Council of Medical Research to help with the trials and they were most cooperative. They have confirmed they will examine the vaccine from the scientific point of view and assess the feasibility of taking it forward.

Dr Ella said he is all set to seek PM Narendra Modi’s direct intervention to expedite the process of fast tracking the vaccine’s development and delivery, by skipping regulatory clearances to get the vaccine to countries that need help, including Brazil, where the epidemic first broke out.

Reports say experts have lauded BBIL’s foresight in working on a vaccine on a neglected disease that has now taken global epidemic proportions.