Protein Sciences Corporation (a subsidiary of Sanofi) is developing a Zika virus vaccine, which is a purified protein formulated with alum and based on recombinant variations of E-protein from the virus. The vaccine uses a proprietary Baculovirus Expression Vector System (BEVS) protein expression technology and Spodoptera frugiperda insect cell lines (expresSF+ cells) to generate large quantities of desired recombinant proteins. Preclinical development is underway in the US. Early research is underway in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Japan.
In August 2017, Protein Sciences was acquired by Sanofi  .
As at May 2020, no recent reports of development had been identified for research development in Zika-virus-infection (Prevention) in Argentina.
As at July 2020, no recent reports of development had been identified for research development in Zika-virus-infection (Prevention) in Japan.
As at February 2021, no recent reports of development had been identified for preclinical development in Zika-virus-infection (Prevention) in USA, research development in Zika-virus-infection (Prevention) in Mexico, Brazil.
In January 2017, Protein Sciences reported that the Institute of Technology in Immunobiologicals of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, also called Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz, had joined, in Brazil, the multinational consortium, that is sponsoring development of the Zika virus vaccine. The Zika consortium already consists of four other partners: Mundo Sano and Sinergium Biotech in Argentina, Liomont in Mexico, and UMN Pharma in Japan  .
In June 2016, Protein Sciences and UMN entered into an agreement to develop a Zika virus vaccine. Under the terms of the agreement, UMN will pay an upfront fee to fund the development and manufacture of the vaccine being produced at Protein Sciences and receive manufacturing and commercial rights to the vaccine in Japan and other countries to be determined. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed  .
In April 2016, Protein Sciences, Sinergium and Mundo Sano entered into an agreement to develop a Zika virus vaccine in Latin America and other countries. Under the terms of the agreement, Sinergium will pay an advance fee to fund the development and manufacture of the vaccine to Protein Sciences. In return, Sinergium will receive manufacturing and commercial rights for the development of the vaccine in Argentina and other countries  .
Key Development Milestones
In January 2017, Protein Sciences Corporation reported that its Zika virus vaccine demonstrated safety during a toxicology study sponsored by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health. The vaccine also induced strong neutralising antibodies against the Zika virus in outbred mice during preclinical trials. Based on these data the company is planning to initiate a phase I trial of Zika virus vaccine in the US in April 2017  .