Zika Vaccine Could Be Delayed, Unaffordable After US Army Grants Exclusive Rights to Pharma Company
The U.S. Army’s plan to grant exclusive rights to a promising Zika vaccine to a major pharmaceutical company has raised questions about whether that threatens its future affordability and availability to people in developing countries.
The purified, inactivated Zika virus vaccine — called ZP IV — has been developed by the U.S. Army and is currently in its first phase of testing at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland and the National Institutes of Health.
If it successfully passes clinical trials, the vaccine would have the potential to halt the spread of the virus, transmitted by mosquitoes and sexual intercourse, which has been reported in 69 countries since 2015, including the United States, and is linked to serious birth defects in children.
The deal was posted by the Army on the public Federal Register in December and will give Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine unit of French multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi, exclusive access to the new vaccine technology, which has been developed and paid for by the U.S. government. In return, Sanofi will take on the role of conducting clinical trials, getting regulatory approval, manufacturing and distributing the vaccine.
- Health Care