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Elias Zerhouni Letter to the Editor Regarding Developing a Zika Vaccine

This letter was originally published by The New York Times on March 21, 2017

Developing a Zika Vaccine 

To the Editor:

Re ''Trump Should Avoid a Bad Zika Deal'' (Op-Ed, March 11):

Bernie Sanders, in our view, doesn't seem to recognize the importance of government-industry partnerships in protecting the public from potentially devastating infectious diseases. Vaccine development entails tremendous costs and risks, especially for an emerging and poorly understood epidemic like Zika.

To tackle the problem, the United States government is working with a number of different manufacturers who are competing to develop a potential Zika vaccine.

As part of this process, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has publicly offered its own vaccine candidate for licensing. Under the license agreement -- and assuming the vaccine succeeds -- my company, Sanofi, would make significant milestone and royalty payments to Walter Reed, allowing the United States government to recoup its investment.

Our work on the Zika vaccine will be led by Sanofi scientists based in the United States, where we employ some 15,000 people.

Sanofi has decades of experience in vaccine development and manufacturing. We have partnered with governments and N.G.O.s around the world, ensuring access to lifesaving vaccines at reasonable prices, and we are proud of our continued efforts to do so.

ELIAS ZERHOUNI, PARIS

The writer, president of global research and development for Sanofi, a drug company, is a former director of the National Institutes of Health.

 
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