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Army Org Conducts Preclinical Research on Zika Vaccine Candidate

medical health doctorThe Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and partners at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have conducted preclinical research on a vaccine candidate to potentially prevent the Zika virus in humans, the Defense Department news service reported Thursday.

Cheryl Pellerin writes the U.S. Army research organization plans to commence human testing within the year and will utilize its Pilot Bioproduction Facility that develops cures for various DOD mission-related disease threats and manufactures clinical-grade material.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention monitors Zika virus transmission and activity in 39 countries and territories in the Americas as well as locations in Oceania, the Pacific Islands and Cape Verde.

“We are working on a type of vaccine that the Food and Drug Administration has seen before and has licensed before,” said Col. Stephen Thomas, Zika program lead.

“It’s the same [cell-based] technology we used to develop the Japanese encephalitis vaccine.”

Pellerin added WRAIR currently works with the Department of Health and Human Services‘ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and other U.S. government agencies to develop the vaccine.

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