European Medicines Agency sets up task force on Zika virus

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has established a task force of European experts with specialised knowledge in vaccines, infectious diseases and other relevant expertise to contribute to the global response to the threat of the Zika virus infection.

The EMA task force was established following the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 1 February 2016 that the Zika virus outbreak is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This group will be available to give advice on any scientific and regulatory matters for the research and development of medicines or vaccines against the virus.

There are currently no vaccines or medicines to protect from or treat Zika virus infection that are approved or undergoing clinical studies. The Agency is encouraging medicines developers to contact EMA if they have any promising projects in this area.

EMA will also proactively reach out to companies already planning to work on investigational vaccines and offer scientific and regulatory advice. EMA will review any new information as soon as it becomes available to support the response to this widening public health crisis.

During a health emergency such as the Zika virus outbreak, EMA works closely with European bodies, including the European Commission and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and with international partners such as WHO and other international regulators from affected countries.

There are already a number of existing mechanisms and tools which can be used to help speed up the research and development of medicines and vaccines in the context of an emerging viral disease such as Zika.

Companies may seek scientific advice from EMA on the appropriate tests and studies required in the development of their products. Early and regular interaction with the Agency can significantly speed up the development of medicines.

The European Article 58 procedure also provides an opportunity to give a scientific opinion on treatments intended primarily for use in non-EU countries, while collaborating closely with WHO and experts from those countries.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com/ Henrik Larsson.


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites with a small donation of even £1, your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

In the meantime may I wish you the very best.

- Advertisement -

Brilinta approved in US to reduce the risk of first heart attack or stroke

AstraZeneca’s Brilinta (ticagrelor) has been approved in the US to reduce the risk of a first heart attack or stroke in high-risk patients with...

GSK to manufacture 1bn doses of pandemic vaccine

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is aiming to manufacture one billion doses of its pandemic vaccine adjuvant system, in 2021, to support the development of multiple adjuvanted...

Chimeron Bio & NCBID to develop COVID-19 vaccine

RNA therapeutics company, Chimeron Bio, and George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID), will together develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine...

AbCellera raises $105m to advance antibody drug discovery platform

AbCellera has closed a $105 million Series B financing to further advance its antibody drug discovery platform. The financing was led by OrbiMed and current...

Novavax expands large-scale manufacturing capacity

Novavax, a late-stage biotech developing next-gen vaccines for serious infectious diseases, has expanded its large-scale manufacturing capacity with the $167 million acquisition of Praha...

Related news

Emergent joins partnership for COVID-19 vaccine development & manufacturing

Emergent BioSolutions has been issued a task order under an existing contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to deploy its...

Brilinta approved in US to reduce the risk of first heart attack or stroke

AstraZeneca’s Brilinta (ticagrelor) has been approved in the US to reduce the risk of a first heart attack or stroke in high-risk patients with...

GSK to manufacture 1bn doses of pandemic vaccine

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is aiming to manufacture one billion doses of its pandemic vaccine adjuvant system, in 2021, to support the development of multiple adjuvanted...

Chimeron Bio & NCBID to develop COVID-19 vaccine

RNA therapeutics company, Chimeron Bio, and George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID), will together develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine...