Indian healthcare provider Zydus Cadila and Takeda Pharmaceutical have agreed to partner to develop a vaccine for an emerging infectious disease known as Chikungunya.

The agreement will see both parties collaborating from an early stage development of the vaccine up to its final commercialisation.

Further terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, however it is expected to boost the development of medicines in the future.

Zydus Group chairman and managing director Pankaj Patel said: “We have always been committed to working with partners and collaborating to bring affordable therapies and bridge unmet healthcare needs.

“By partnering with Takeda on this very important research and development initiative and leveraging our development capabilities, we will be taking an all important step to prevent the disease burden that is highly prevalent in developing countries and causes suffering and disability.”

Chikungunya is an infectious disease primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which are also known to spread dengue and the Zika virus. It triggers symptoms such as fever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.

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"We are always open to tackling the world’s most urgent and neglected unmet medical needs together with partners."

Chikungunya poses more risk for newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults, and people suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease.

The disease has been identified in more than 60 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Takeda Vaccines CEO Dr Rahul Singhvi said: “We are always open to tackling the world’s most urgent and neglected unmet medical needs together with partners.

“Our belief is that Chikungunya can be prevented by vaccines, and that a vaccine might be licensed more quickly if we can accelerate development with this Zydus partnership.”

Image: Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads Chikungunya virus. Photo: courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture.