After announcing an agreement to develop a drug for dengue in May this year, Sun Pharmaceuticals and International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) on Wednesday signed another agreement — this time to develop a vaccine for dengue.
The vaccine is expected to target all the four serotypes of dengue virus. Over the past seven years, ICGEB has conducted the pre-clinical studies and developed the know-how and patents for this dengue vaccine candidate. Currently, apart from supportive clinical care, there is no vaccine or drug to treat Dengue.
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“The current collaboration is focussed on developing a novel, safe & effective vaccine for the prevention of dengue,” said a Sun Pharma press release.
According to the agreement, Sun Pharma will fund and support further development of the vaccine candidate and existing ICGEB know-how and patents. On the other hand, ICGEB will grant Sun Pharma exclusive rights and licenses for development and commercialisation of this vaccine globally.
“ICGEB will receive pre-defined royalty & milestone payments. A joint development committee, comprising members of both the organisations, will be established to provide oversight to the dengue vaccine development programme,” said the Sun Pharma press release.
As per the agreement, ICGEB will have to disclose and make available to Sun Pharma all such existing ICGEB know-how. The ICGEB will also have to do an “effective completion of technology transfer” to Sun Pharma within a stipulated timeframe.
“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… Our pre-clinical data is very encouraging and this could be an ideal dengue vaccine candidate for all target populations,” said Dinakar Salunke, director, ICGEB.
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