Protein Sciences Corporation, Sinergium Biotech and Mundo Sano, a private foundation with activities in Argentina, Spain and Africa, announced today that they have entered into an agreement to become members of a consortium that will jointly develop a Zika virus vaccine to combat the recent outbreak of Zika that is wreaking havoc in Latin America and spreading to other continents. Under the terms of the agreement, Sinergium will pay an upfront fee to fund the development and manufacture of the vaccine being produced at Protein Sciences using Protein Sciences’ proprietary technology. In return, Sinergium will receive manufacturing and commercial rights to the vaccine in Argentina and other counties to be determined.
The vaccine being developed is based on production of recombinant variations of the E protein from the Zika virus. Similar vaccine candidates produced at Protein Sciences against West Nile Virus and Japanese Encephalitis Virus, which are close relatives of the Zika virus, have previously been shown to neutralize their respective viruses in preclinical studies. Protein Sciences’ technology is well known for its speed and safety, as it is used to manufacture the FDA-approved Flublok influenza vaccine and has been recognized by the U.S. government as the only approved technology that can respond to a pandemic influenza outbreak in time. The technology is plug-and-play, removing potential regulatory and safety hurdles that can dramatically delay novel vaccine development time lines.
Manon Cox, President and CEO of Protein Sciences said, “We are very pleased to partner with Sinergium Biotech and Mundo Sano on our Zika vaccine. Their focus on vaccine development and manufacturing make them a natural fit for the adoption of our technology.” She added, “We initiated Zika vaccine development in February and are rapidly advancing vaccine candidates to the clinic. Sinergium’s proximity to the heart of the outbreak opens up channels of support that would otherwise be inaccessible.”
Alejandro Gil, President and CEO of Sinergium Biotech added, “This is an important step for our country to prevent Zika and an important step for our company that is committed to developing safely and rapidly different vaccines for the public health. We are also very enthusiastic to cooperate with Protein Sciences. Their great scientific technology and quality standards led to previous approvals of their influenza products in markets including FDA.”
Silvia Gold, President of Mundo Sano Foundation said, “After more than 20 years working in the prevention of neglected diseases, and specifically the vector-transmitted ones, we are also very happy to be part of this consortium opening the opportunity of having a vaccine after WHO declared an imperative need of it.”