Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp has chosen Kenya for the monkeypox vaccine trials to be done in conjunction with Kenyan researchers.
The US-based pharmaceutical company announced that the joint study with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is expected to start in the first half of 2023.
“Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (Tonix), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced a collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to plan, seek regulatory approval for and conduct a Phase 1 clinical study in Kenya to develop TNX-8011 as a vaccine to protect against monkeypox and smallpox,” said the international pharmaceutical in a statement.
According to KEMRI Director General and CEO, Samuel Kariuki, the research institute was very delighted to be a part of this project.
“KEMRI is excited to plan this clinical trial with Tonix, and ultimately to lead the trial. Monkeypox has spread in Central and West Africa, and there’s a concern that we could begin seeing cases in Eastern and Central Africa or from foreign travelers,” he said.
With the fast-spreading infection considered a global health emergency by the World Health Organization, it was only a matter of time before countries got into the race for vaccine production.
Monkeypox is a contagious disease caused by a virus and has become a growing problem not only in Africa but also on other continents.
Recently more than 16,000 cases have been identified outside of Africa.
The cooperation between KEMRI and Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp is a big boost to the country and cements Kenya as a vaccine research hub.
This is not the first time Kenya has participated in such an effort.
The country took part in the successful global efforts for Covid-19 vaccine distribution in conjunction with the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust in the UK.