France’s Sanofi to Work With U.S. Military on Zika Vaccine

Cucuta, Colombia. French pharmaceutical company Sanofi will team up with the U.S. military to develop a vaccine against the Zika virus, the company announced Wednesday.

Zika-chain-coloredPhoto: Manuel Almagro Rivas/Wikimedia Commons            

The army’s Walter Reed Institute will share technology and data with the French company, following the military’s new research showing Zika vaccines which have provided total immunity to mice.

“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,” David Loew, Sanofi’s executive vice president said in a statement.

Sanofi Pasteur developed a vaccine against dengue, another disease carried by the same mosquito which carries Zika, last year.

Zika has hit Brazil in particular, where about 1.5 million people have been infected since the outbreak began last year. Many pregnant women who are infected with the virus give birth to babies with a congenital defect called microcephaly, which causes an abnormally small head. 1,600 such cases have been reported in Brazil.

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