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Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Zika virus vaccine candidate receives funding from BARDA to expedite development

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) approved a contract on Monday to develop an inactivated Zika virus vaccine candidate.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), under the direction of ASPR, funded a $43.18 million contract through June 2022 with Sanofi Pasteur to support the development of the vaccine candidate. Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials are expected to begin in the first half of 2018. The contract includes an option for up to an additional $130.45 million to fund Phase 3 clinical trials before submitting a license application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Developing safe and effective vaccines is a priority in our strategy to protect the public health against the Zika virus,” Dr. Richard Hatchett, acting director of BARDA, said. “This investment supports clinical trials and manufacturing of an additional Zika vaccine candidate that could help prevent Zika virus infection and the devastating birth defects that Zika virus can cause.”

Initial work on the vaccine began in March at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, in collaboration with BARDA and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

In total, HHS agencies across the department have obligated approximately $433 million of repurposed funds to support response and preparedness actions for Zika virus.