US FDA approves Valneva's chikungunya vaccine

Illustration shows Valneva logo

(Reuters) -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved Valneva's single-shot vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older who are at increased risk of exposure to the chikungunya virus.

Valneva's vaccine, with the brand name Ixchiq, is the first preventive shot to be approved in the United States for the mosquito-borne disease.

Chikungunya virus spreads to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms of infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or a rash.

Valneva did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the vaccine's availability in the United States.

The FDA's decision is based on late-stage trials, which showed the vaccine was able to induce antibody levels that could neutralize the chikungunya virus in 98.9% of participants for 28 days post-vaccination.

The health regulator, however, asked the company to conduct a post-marketing study to assess the risk of severe chikungunya-like adverse reactions following administration of Ixchiq.

(Reporting by Bhanvi Satija, Christy Santhosh and Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Shounak Dasgupta)