The Zika vaccine partnership between Sanofi Pasteur and the U.S. Army’s Walter Reed Army Institute of Research just added a new member to the force--Brazil's Fiocruz, a research organization with a long history in vaccine development.
Fiocruz will “provide additional expertise, and increase the likelihood of successfully developing and licensing a safe and effective Zika vaccine as quickly as possible,” Sanofi’s vax branch said in a statement.
Because Fiocruz is based in Brazil, where Zika has left a devastating mark, bringing the institute into the Sanofi-Walter Reed effort "only makes sense for the pursuit of public health," Sanofi Pasteur SVP John Shiver said in the statement. The three partners also have a history of working together, he said.
Fiocruz is the immuno-biological tech arm of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a research institute founded in 1900. Fiocruz has a long history of developing vaccines, including those that protect against poliomyelitis, rotavirus and measles. Fiocruz can help the partnership with process development, epidemiological studies, and preclinical and clinical testing, among other things, the statement said.
Sanofi Pasteur is playing a major role in Zika vaccine research. In July, it signed a deal with the Walter Reed institute to develop the latter’s Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine candidate. Following a previous study in mice, the vaccine successfully protected rhesus monkeys from Zika infection in a second round of preclinical studies completed in early August.
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