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The company will collaborate with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to co-develop a Zika vaccine candidate.
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the French drugmaker Sanofi, announced on July 6, 2016 that the company has signed a research agreement with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) to co-develop a Zika vaccine candidate. Under the terms of the agreement, WRAIR will transfer its Zika vaccine inactivated virus vaccine technology to Sanofi Pasteur, the company said in a press announcement.
According to Reuters, Sanofi is the only major pharmaceutical company working on a Zika vaccine. Under the agreement, WRAIR will share data related to the development of immunologic assays for the vaccine, and Sanofi will create a clinical development and regulatory strategy. WRAIR’s Zika vaccine is one of the farthest advanced in development, and may be ready to test on humans in October, Reuters says.
“Zika, Japanese encephalitis, and dengue belong to the same family of viruses (Flavivirus), are transmitted by the same type of mosquito, and share some similarities at the genetic level, and we already licensed vaccines against those flaviviruses,” John Shiver, PhD, senior vice-president of R&D at Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement. “We’re looking at this from both a short- and long-term perspective, collaborating to get into the clinic quicker to provide a vaccine in response to the current emergency, and adapting our own technology to ensure production capacity of a vaccine for years to come.”