The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has announced that they will provide up to $21.9 million to help develop a vaccine for the Zika virus.

Emergent BioSolutions’ Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing will conduct the early stages of vaccine development and will submit any candidate vaccines for an investigational drug request to the Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical studies.

At any stage in development, the technology could be transferred to other vaccine manufacturers to produce and market any vaccine developed.

“The threat posed by Zika presents an urgent need for vaccines and diagnostics,” Richard J. Hatchett, MD , acting director of ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, said in a statement. “To meet that need as quickly as possible, we need to leverage the infrastructure, experience, and expertise available within BARDA, other federal agencies, industry, and academia.”

gtwachtman@frontlinemedcom.com

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