Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report

Less than zero

Sep 17, 2019
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report

Developing a Zika vaccine will take time (and money)

Dan Gorenstein Feb 1, 2016
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Mother Nadja Cristina Gomes Bezerra displays a photograph she had taken for identification of her daughter Alice Vitoria Gomes Bezerra, 3-months-old, who has microcephaly, on January 31, 2016 in Recife, Brazil. In the last four months, authorities have recorded close to 4,000 cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

The World Health Organization convenes an emergency meeting Monday to help determine its response to the Zika virus.

There’s no widely available test for the mosquito-borne illness linked to birth defects, and even the most optimistic estimates say a vaccine won’t be available until late 2016.

Developing a vaccine is no small feat. First, you need a lot of cash, said Dr. Ken Kaitin at the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

“It could take close to $1 billion to bring one successful compound to market,” he said.

Then, Kaitin said, given that pregnant women are at risk, that complicates the process for drug makers.

“In anything that’s dealing with pregnancy or children for that matter, you have an added obstacle because you don’t want to create a bigger problem then you are trying to cure,” he said.

A few of the biggest drug companies in the world are exploring vaccine development, including GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi.

The Zika virus could infect some 4 million people in the Americas, and that’s why Sanofi’s Dr. Paul Beninger hopes U.S. health officials round up all the pharmaceutical executives and put the screws to them.

“Putting the finger to every person in the room and say I need your help to do this. And I think people respond to that. It’s when they aren’t identified it doesn’t happen,” he said.

Beninger said as we saw with Ebola, the capacity to develop a vaccine is there. It’s just a question of unlocking it.

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.

“I use clips from the show in my classes so students can grasp complex ideas and make connections to their own lives.”
Ashley, Ft. Worth, TX
Marketplace Investor