WHO Issues Strategy For Zika Global Response; US$56 Million Needed 17/02/2016 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The World Health Organization today issued its strategic response framework and joint operations and research plan, which lays out a strategy until June, to investigate and respond to the medical complications linked to the spreading Zika virus. Zika is suspected to have a role in microcephaly (babies born with small heads), and neurological conditions. The strategy [pdf] also indicates that WHO partner organisations “and other relevant experts” will be convened to further define and expand the global research agenda for Zika virus. “A prioritized Zika virus research agenda will be developed for potential new approaches, tools, and product development,” according to the strategy, specifying that a landscape analysis will be conducted and the process for moving candidate vaccines and diagnostic through the research and development pipeline will be accelerated. WHO has also initiated an emergency R&D response plan, which according to the strategy “is the first attempt (post-Ebola virus disease) to implement the WHO’s R&D Blueprint,” which was established in 2015 and aims to implement a roadmap for R&D preparedness and emergency R&D response for priority pathogens. There are currently no specific antiviral drugs for Zika virus, said the WHO, and no vaccine available. Separately, Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant WHO director-general for health systems and innovation, published a commentary on WHO research and development on Zika. According to the strategy, some US$56 million is required to implement the Strategic Response Framework and Joint Operations Plan. Some US$6.4 million are foreseen on research, with some US$2 million coming from WHO, US$850,000 from WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO), US$3 million from UNICEF and US$252,000 from the University of Texas Medical Branch. In a press release, WHO said it has tapped a recently established emergency contingency fund to finance its initial operations. On 12 February, the WHO said several companies are working on diagnostic tools, and two candidate vaccines are being considered (IPW, WHO, 12 February 2016). Image Credits: CDC Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."WHO Issues Strategy For Zika Global Response; US$56 Million Needed" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.