“Our experience with clinical data, especially in the area of vaccines, puts MMS in a strong position to support this vital community need. We all need to do our part to combat emerging threats to global health and to support drug development in these areas,” said Dr. Uma Sharma, Chief Scientific Officer, MMS. “We hope that this award will eliminate the financial roadblocks some companies may face when pursuing BLAs in this area.”
The Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Patients most commonly report fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Since these are mostly mild and patients recover within a few days, they rarely seek medical treatment and the infection goes unnoticed. In pregnant women however, Zika can spread from the mother to the fetus and cause birth defects, most notably microencaphaly. In addition, a serious neurological disorder Guillain-barre syndrome (GBS) has been reported in patients affected by the Zika virus.
On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Though originally reported in Brazil, the Zika virus will likely continue to spread to new areas.
All applications for the MMS Holdings Inc. Zika Vaccine Award will be reviewed by the MMS scientific board comprised of experts in the field of new drug approvals led by Dr. Bob Rappaport, Dr. Ethan Weiner, Dr. Atul Pande, and Dr. Ed Harrigan.
Applications will be accepted through December 19, 2016.