AsianScientist (Sep. 6, 2016) – Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda has been selected by the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop a vaccine for Zika.
The US$19.8 million initial funding from BARDA will cover vaccine development through to a Phase I clinical trial. BARDA is a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Under the agreement, Takeda’s Vaccine Business Unit will develop an inactivated, adjuvanted, whole Zika virus vaccine. They will develop and produce the investigational vaccine, complete pre-clinical studies, submit an Investigational New Drug Application to the US Food and Drug Administration, and execute a Phase I clinical trial. The vaccine will be manufactured at Takeda’s facilities in Hikari, Japan.
On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared the Zika outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. On February 8, 2016 the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention elevated its Zika response efforts to its highest response level, Level 1.
There is currently no vaccine or medicine for Zika, and infection during pregnancy is suspected to be linked to a serious birth defect called microcephaly. Many people infected with Zika will have no symptoms or only mild symptoms that last several days to a week.
Source: Takeda; Photo: Shutterstock.
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