Sanofi says to co-develop Zika vaccine with US government

pharmafile | July 6, 2016 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Sanofi, US government, Vaccine, Zika virus, drug development, research 

French drugmaker Sanofi (Euronext: SAN) said it will co-develop a Zika vaccine candidate with the US government. 

No financial details were disclosed. 

The company, along with its vaccine unit Sanofi Pasteur has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), the US Department of Defence research laboratory, Sanofi said in a statement. 

Under to the terms of the agreement, WRAIR will transfer its Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine technology to Sanofi Pasteur, opening the door for a broader collaboration with the US government. 

David Loew, executive vice president, head of Sanofi Pasteur, said: “In addition to exploring our own vaccine technology used in our new dengue fever vaccine, we are looking at other pathways to get a Zika vaccine into the clinic as soon as possible.”   

The agreement also includes Sanofi Pasteur’s production of clinical material in compliance with current GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) to support Phase II testing, optimization of the upstream process to improve production yields, and characterization of the vaccine product.  Sanofi Pasteur will also create a clinical development and regulatory strategy. 

John Shiver, senior VP for R&D at Sanofi Pasteur, said: “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.” 

Anjali Shukla

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