Published On: Fri, Oct 21st, 2016

Sun Pharma to develop dengue vaccine in collaboration with ICGEB

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Indian multinational pharmaceutical company Sun Pharma is collaborating with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) to develop dengue vaccine at an affordable cost for global markets.

The new dengue vaccine would be safer and more effective than the existing vaccine as per the manufacturer. It targets all the four serotypes of dengue viruses (DENV) that cause dengue in humans.

This is the second time that Sun Pharma and ICGEB have tied up to develop medicine for dengue. The first collaboration was related to the development of botanical drug Cipa, which was announced in May this year, focused on treatment.

Dengue virus infection is caused by genus mosquito. Dengue is quite prevalent in the third world countries where sanitization is not at its best in public places.

Sun Pharma to develop dengue vaccine

Sun Pharma to develop dengue vaccine

The Sun Pharma-ICGEB collaboration focuses on dengue prevention by developing a vaccine that aims to protect adults, and travelers affected or non-affected by dengue in the past.

Kirti Ganorkar executive vice president and head of Sun Pharma said: “Our new collaboration with ICGEB for developing an affordable dengue vaccine is part of our broader commitment for developing new and improved vaccines and drugs against flaviviruses that are of significant health importance to and rest of the world. Our decision to partner with ICGEB on dengue vaccine program followed extensive due diligence and expert consultations on existing dengue vaccine programs globally”.

ICGEB had developed a tetravalent dengue vaccine by tailoring recombinant virus-like-particle (VLP) that contain host-receptor binding domain of envelope protein of all the four DENV serotypes. Pre-clinical studies were conducted by ICGEB for the past seven years, and it has acquired patents for the dengue vaccine.

Director of ICGEB, Dr Salunke said: “Despite recent approval of a dengue vaccine and several candidates being at advance stage of clinical trials, the development of a safe, affordable and efficacious dengue vaccine still faces major challenges. I am pleased that the dengue vaccine development program led by Dr Navin Khanna at ICGEB is now proceeding to clinical development phase with Sun Pharma.

“The initial support from DBT and subsequent funding from Wellcome Trust has enabled ICGEB to bring this vaccine candidate at the stage it is today. Our pre-clinical data is very encouraging and this could be an ideal dengue vaccine candidate for all populations.

According to Navin Khanna, who developed vaccine candidate over the last decade in ICGEB, the time to develop India’s dengue vaccine candidate DSV4 will be very less compared to the dengue vaccine developed by French multinational pharmaceutical company dubbed as .

As per the agreement with ICGEB, Sun Pharma will take care of the funding and also support further development of the dengue vaccine candidate DSV4 and existing ICGEB know-how and patents.

Sun Pharma, which invests about $300 million annually on research and development of pharmaceuticals and biologics, will use its in-house expertise and expertise of its associate company, ARTES Biotechnology to develop dengue vaccine. ARTES has expertise in producing VLP based vaccines from yeast production cell lines.

ICGEB will grant exclusive rights and licences to Sun Pharma in the development and commercialization of the dengue vaccine globally. It will get pre-defined royalty and milestone payments.

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