Sinergium will fund the development and manufacture of a Zika vaccine being produced at Protein Sciences
Protein Sciences, the US manufacturer of the Flublok influenza vaccine, Sinergium Biotech and Mundo Sano, a private foundation, have agreed to become members of a consortium that will jointly develop a Zika virus vaccine.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sinergium, a biotechnology firm based in Garin, Buenos Aires, Argentina, will pay an upfront fee to fund the development and manufacture of the vaccine being produced at Protein Sciences using Protein Sciences' proprietary technology.
Sinergium will receive manufacturing and commercial rights to the vaccine in Argentina and other counties to be determined.
The companies are in discussions with additional partners worldwide that could strengthen and rapidly advance the development programme.
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 neutralise their respective viruses in preclinical studies.
Protein Sciences' technology is used to manufacture the FDA-approved Flublok influenza vaccine and has been recognised by the US government as the only approved technology that can respond to a pandemic influenza outbreak in time.
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.'