Shanghai, 05 April 2017 - The Horizon 2020 call by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Research and Innovation has funded the ZIKAlliance project to better characterise the clinical and fundamental aspects of infections by Zika virus (ZIKV). Institut Pasteur Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPS-CAS), a partner of the ZIKAlliance consortium, announced that it has entered into a collaborative research agreement with Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Stock Co., Ltd. (Zhifei) for the clinical studies and commercialization of a recombinant Zika virus subunit vaccine developed by IPS-CAS.
According to Xinhua News Agency, this achievement means that the vaccine developed by IPS-CAS will be the seventh in the world and the first recombinant protein Zika vaccine developed into the preclinical study stage in Asia. “The multinational clinical studies are expected to be carried out in 2019" said Professor Tang Hong, general director of IPS-CAS.
Pr. Zhang Yaping, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said that in recent years, the outbreak of Zika virus in central and South America, but also worldwide, has become a serious threat to the global public health. Studies have demonstrated that Zika virus infection is one of the causes of Guillain-Barre syndrome, and, infection of pregnant women by Zika virus can cause neonatal microcephaly. However, so far, there is no commercial vaccine and therapeutic drug against Zika virus.
The chief scientist, Pr. Huang Zhong, explained that this recombinant Zika virus subunit vaccine will be the first produced in the Pichia pastoris yeast, a frequently used simple and inexpensive expression system for the large-scale production of proteins. His team at IPS-CAS shows that Zika virus subunit recombinant protein is able to effectively protect against a lethal dose of virus challenge in a mouse model. It is a safe and effective Zika vaccine candidate, with good industrial prospects.
ZIKAlliance project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under ZIKAlliance Grant Agreement N.734548.
For information about the technology transfer agreement, please contact Dimitri Lavillette at email@example.com. For more information about ZIKAlliance or ZIKAlliance’s activities, please contact Xavier de Lamballerie (Scientific Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: +33 491324420; or Flavia Mariani (Project Manager) at email@example.com or phone: +33 491324412.
A Chinese version of the Press Release can be found here.
IPS is a member of the International Network of Pasteur Institutes (IPIN) and shares with the other 33 centres of IPIN a triple mission devoted to, basic and translational research on infectious diseases, support and implementation of public health policies and training/teaching of scientists and students. By the end of 2016, IPS-CAS was strong of over 96 scientists in 26 teams. Scientific output of IPS-CAS continues to show a sustained, ascendant line of publications regarding both the quality and impact of papers in peer-reviewed international journals. Notably, some of its novel reported findings lead not only to excellent publications but also to patents with a great potential to develop to practical outcomes and benefit for infectious disease treatment or their prevention.
Zhifei, a leading vaccine enterprise in China based on research, development, manufacturing and marketing, is committed to improving childrenss physical quality by sparing no efforts to supply innovative vaccines with high quality and low price for society under the principle of "social benefits first, economic profits second". It became the first private company successfully listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange GEM in 2010. Its current market value is over 28 billion yuan. It has five wholly-owned subsidiaries and subsidiary company, including Beijing Lvzhu Biopharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Anhui Longcom Biopharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Chongqing Zhiren Biotechnology Co., Ltd. and Zhifei (HONG KONG) Ltd.