Zika Virus: Australian University’s Research for a Vaccine ‘in Progress’

The University of South Australia confirmed on Tuesday that it is working in cooperation with Australian biotech Sementis Ltd. to develop a vaccine for the Zika Virus.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the university started its work on the development of a vaccine to treat the disease immediately after the World Health Organisation declared the Zika virus as a global public health emergency. Two Zika virus cases have been reported in New South Wales recently which shows the nation has already come under the threat of the disease.

South Australia’s Sanofi claimed on Tuesday that it had already launched a program for the development of the vaccine to ensure proper treatment of the disease. In a rush to develop Zika virus vaccine soon, every small biotech company and university has been taking part in the cause but at the same time, Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline PLC said that it was still studying whether its vaccine technology was capable of acting against the virus.

According to Reuters, US drug developer NewLink Genetics Corporation has also initiated a program to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. It has also started the development of an ebola vaccine in association with Merck. The vaccine is believed to have the capability to fight against the deadly virus as it showed up in a large trial in Guinea.

Besides Australia, Britain and the US, drugmakers from other nations across the world are also trying to develop vaccines that could increase the body’s ability to fight against the Zika virus effects. The Zika virus has been found to damage the brains of thousands of babies in Brazil.

Zika comes from the similar mosquito species as that of dengue and chikungunya, which are known for causing mild fever and rashes. The university of South Australia and Sementis have developed a vaccine for chikungunya, which is under clinical testing at the moment.

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