The fight against the Zika virus has seemed to be growing increasingly insurmountable as the outbreak spreads and affects more countries around the world, but this Thursday, a possible light in the darkness was announced. The pharmaceutical company Takeda has released the news that it is working on developing a vaccine to prevent Zika.
Reports indicate that Takeda will receive almost $20 million in funding from the U.S government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority over the next year and a half to fund pre-clinical research for the vaccine and manufacturing while preparing for human trials.
If Takeda is able to proceed successfully with its research, enough to reach the late stages of testing and filing for approval, (if a vaccine is indeed developed, in essence), funding of up to $312 million could be provided.
“To help protect people from Zika in the U.S. and abroad, we are aggressively pursuing the development of promising vaccine candidates around the world,” Richard Hatchett, acting director of BARDA said in a statement.
The Japanese government is also said to be discussing the idea of helping fund the research.
Any advancement in developing a vaccine would be something to be celebrated, as Zika, which is spread through infected mosquitoes and causes drastic problems in brain development in unborn babies has already affected scores of families and children worldwide.
Globally, a local area in Singapore has reported the latest outbreak.
As part of the U.S., Puerto Rico has experienced a widespread outbreak and authorities recently determined that local mosquitoes were transmitting Zika in south Florida.