The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response under the US Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to the proposal of Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY) subsidiary Sanofi Pasteur to fund the manufacturing of a Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine for a Phase 2 clinical trial. BARDA is providing $43 million in funding.
Sanofi Pasteur’s Zika Vaccine Efforts
Sanofi Pasteur immediately committed to developing a Zika vaccine in February after the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared a state of emergency. As David Loew, Sanofi Executive Vice President (EVP) and head of Sanofi Pasteur explained, the company had decided to launch its initiatives as early as possible given the alarming effects of the disease. A few months later, the company has sealed a Cooperative Research and Development (R&D) Agreement with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) concerning the initiative.
The latest funding will enable Sanofi Pasteur to move forward with the efforts, manufacturing and characterizing the ZPIV vaccine. While it will be primarily used for a Phase 2 clinical trial, the terms of the agreement indicate that BARDA can continue to support the project for prospective Phase 3 clinical trials, which can mean another $130 million in funding.
Currently, the company is working on a clinical development program and a regulatory strategy. Meanwhile, WRAIR and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are working on a series of Phase 1 clinical trials.
BARDA’s Fight Against Zika
BARDA has been committed to the battle against Zika since the disease broke out earlier this year. Earlier this month, it has promised to team up with Takeda Pharmaceutical to support the company’s Zika vaccine development. The first stretch of the deal will enable Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd to complete preclinical development and Phase 1 clinical trial with nearly $20 million in funding.
Sanofi has opened the trading week at $38.11 before closing at $38.04. During the session, it reached a high and a low of $38.15 and $37.92, respectively.