Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech said on Wednesday that it was working on two possible vaccines to fight the Zika virus, which has been declared as public health emergency by the World Health Organisation.
The virus is spreading rapidly in the Americas, and WHO officials on Tuesday expressed concern that it could hit Africa and Asia as well. No vaccine has been developed so far.
One of the possible vaccines is “recombinant”, which means it is created by genetic engineering, while the other was “inactivated”, and will enter pre-clinical trials in animals in two weeks, Bharat Biotech managing director Krishna Ella said.
He announced that they were working on ZIKAVAC vaccines for Zika infection. He said the pre-clinical trials for the vaccine will start in a week or two.
The company, which claims to be working on the vaccine for one-and-half years, has informed both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Union government about the status of its project.
The company has filed global patents for both inactivated and recombinant vaccines. The inactivated vaccine has reached the stage of pre-clinical testing in animals.
The pre-clinical trials may take two to five months while human trials will take another four to five months.