The Access to Advanced Health Institute Lands $18M to Develop RNA Vaccine for Mosquito-Borne Disease


The Access to Advanced Health Institute will develop an RNA vaccine against the chikungunya virus with a fresh $18 million award from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease that causes joint pain that can sometimes persist for months or years, along with other symptoms.  

The virus is endemic to some regions of Africa and Asia and emerged in the Americas in 2013, where it caused more than a million cases within a year. There is no vaccine or approved treatment for the disease.

Vaccine researchers are taking a variety of approaches to chikungunya, testing everything from DNA-based shots to so-called virus-like particles. In June, French biotech company Valneva was first to release results from a phase 3 trial, showing that its single-shot vaccine provoked a strong immune response and was safe.