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    Tubes with the label 'Zika virus' are seen at Genekam Biotechnology AG in Duisburg, Germany, Feb. 2, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 February 2016

An Indian pharmaceutical firm claimed on Wednesday to have developed the world’s first vaccine against mosquito-borne Zika. 

An Indian pharmaceutical company claims to have developed the world’s first vaccine against mosquito-borne Zika virus.

"On Zika, we were probably the first vaccine company in the world to file a vaccine candidate patent about nine months ago," Krishna Ella, chairperson and of Bharat Biotech Ltd told NDTV on Wednesday.

Ella said the firm, which is based in Hyderabad, reached out to the Indian government in order to carry out human and animal trials, which have been developed by its scientists using a live Zika virus.

RELATED NEWS: UN Rushes to Respond to Zika Virus as Health Emergency Spreads

Meanwhile, French drugmaker Sanofi SA on Tuesday announced that it has launched a project to develop a vaccine against the virus, the most decisive commitment yet by a major vaccine maker. The company said its Sanofi Pasteur vaccines division would use its expertise in developing vaccines for similar viruses, such as yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and dengue.

Other companies have also joined the race to develop a vaccine. The University of South Australia said it was working on a Zika vaccine with Australian biotech Sementis Ltd.

RELATED NEWS: Honduras Declares State of Emergency Over Zika Virus

U.S. drug developer NewLink Genetics Corp said it has started a project to develop Zika treatment options.

Brazilian Presidend Dilma Rousseff also said on Monday her government will team up with the United States to develop a Zika vaccine as soon as possible to stem the spread of the virus.

WATCH: The Zika Virus Spreads Around Latin America

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