One year ago in September 2016 the UK’s government innovation agency Innovate UK provided £1 million to help accelerate Themis’ Zika candidate into the clinic. Now, a year on they are providing another £3 million for clinical trials to help propel the firm’s Chikungunya vaccine forward.
Themis, an Austrian vaccine specialist, will be collaborating with the UK’s National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) to help further the development of the vaccine. The team at Themis will conduct a further phase II clinical trial in the United Kingdom in an attempt to validate a correlate of protection for the vaccine and to identify an antibody threshold that would indicate protection against the Chikungunya virus.
The vaccine is currently undergoing three parallel phase 2 trials in the U.S. mainland, Europe and, with the help of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, in Puerto Rico. All in all, a total of 700 participants will receive the vaccine during the clinical studies.
Erich Tauber the CEO of Themis indicated that Themis will reveal the result from their phase 2 program at the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene annual meeting in Baltimore in early November 2017. Erich also stated that his company are discussing the clinical path to licence with the EMA and the FDA. Phase 3 manufacturing will likely start during 2018.
The Themis live attenuated vaccine is based upon a platform developed that uses a measles vaccine as the vector. This is technology originally licenced from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. This platform allows for rapid development and up-scaling of a cost-effective vaccine production process and has an excellent track record for efficacy and safety.
GreyRigge Associates has been instrumental in helping secure almost £4m in non-dilutive funding from the UK government for the Austrian company and continues to work closely with their organisation in the development of their vaccines.