Another Zika Death And Getting Closer To A Vaccine

The death of a baby in Mexico is linked to the Zika Virus. Mexican officials in the state of Oaxaca say the premature baby, who died in November during child birth had microcephaly, a rare condition in which an infant's head is significantly smaller.

They found traces of the virus in amniotic fluid along with congenital deformities. The latest death to due Zika, which is spread thru mosquitoes, comes as researchers at a bio tech company say they've demonstrated a single low dose immunization has the potential to protect against the virus. They say it worked in animals and the work continues to see if they can advance the treatment.

You can read the news release below:

Acuitas Therapeutics Inc., a private biotechnology company developing state-of-the-art lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery technology for messenger RNA (mRNA), announced today publication of data demonstrating that single low dose immunization with a messenger RNA delivered in an Acuitas LNP carrier has the potential to protect against infection by Zika virus. In a paper published today in Nature, Acuitas' scientists and academic researchers including Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, a professor of Infectious Diseases in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania showed that single low-dose immunization with mRNA-LNP encoding the pre-membrane and envelope (prM-E) glycoproteins of a Zika virus strain responsible for the 2013 outbreak elicited potent, durable and protective neutralizing antibody responses in animals."I am delighted that our long-standing collaboration with Dr. Weissman continues to demonstrate the exciting clinical potential of mRNA therapeutics. The current data show that a single low dose administration of mRNA-LNP encoding a Zika protein completely protected animals from a subsequent challenge with the virus. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Dr. Weissman to further advance this exciting new therapeutic modality," said Thomas Madden, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Acuitas Therapeutics

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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