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French biotech Valneva's chikungunya vaccine gets US FDA's fast-track status

Valneva SE vaccine VLA1553 was granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's fast-track designation to prevent chikungunya.

Chikungunya is a viral disease caused by the chikungunya virus transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes. The condition causes fever and debilitating joint and muscle pain, among other symptoms, and can also be fatal.

The French biotechnology company's chief medical officer, Wolfgang Bender, said the designation will allow it to work with the FDA to develop a one-dose solution for preventing the disease.

Valneva will release initial data from a phase 1 trial of the drug in the coming weeks.

The FDA's fast-track status facilitates the development and expedites review of new drugs and vaccines that have a potential to fulfill an unmet medical need.

Valneva also develops and commercialize a vaccine called Ixiaro for preventing Japanese encephalitis and Dukoral for preventing cholera, and in some countries, prevention of diarrhea caused by Enterotoxigenic E. coli — bacteria that cause disease in humans and domestic animals by producing a heat labile or heat-stable toxin or both.