International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and Sun Pharma have collaborated to develop a new and safe vaccine for mosquito-borne viral disease Dengue.

The vaccine is targeted against all four serotypes of the dengue virus that cause disease in humans.

As part of the collaboration, a recombinant virus-like-particle (VLP) has been developed by ICGEB based tetravalent dengue vaccine, containing host-receptor binding domain of envelope protein of all four DENV serotypes.

The latest partnership between Sun Pharma and ICGEB follows the initial one announced in May this year related to the development of a botanical drug to treat dengue.

"Our decision to partner with ICGEB on dengue vaccine programme followed extensive due diligence and expert consultations on existing dengue vaccine programmes globally."

ICGEB’s initial findings of dengue vaccine indicate that the candidate induces serotype-specific, non-cross-reactive and neutralising antibodies without disease enhancing concerns.

Sun Pharma global business development executive vice-president and head Kirti Ganorkar 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 flavi-viruses that are of significant health importance to India and the rest of the world.

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“Our decision to partner with ICGEB on dengue vaccine programme followed extensive due diligence and expert consultations on existing dengue vaccine programmes globally.”

According to the latest agreement, Sun Pharma will fund and support further development of the vaccine candidate and existing ICGEB know-how and patents.

The company will get exclusive rights and licences from ICGEB for development and commercialisation of this vaccine globally.

ICGEB director Dr Salunke said: "Despite recent approval of a dengue vaccine and several candidates being at an advance stage of clinical trials, the development of a safe, affordable and efficacious dengue vaccine still faces major challenges.

“The initial support from DBT and subsequent funding from Wellcome Trust has enabled ICGEB to bring this vaccine candidate to the stage it is today."

The novel dengue vaccine, which is being developed through this partnership, is made in yeast, generally regarded as safe (GRAS) organism and is non-replicating.

It will predominantly induce serotype-specific virus neutralising antibodies and its ‘four-in-one’ design obviates the need for developing four monovalent vaccines.