Zika Vaccines

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Last reviewed
December 2, 2023
Content Overview
Zika vaccine candidates are conducting clinical trials in 2023.

Zika Vaccines 2023

Zika vaccine candidate research has been active for the past few years, and recent studies suggest that a vaccine can be developed. Developing a safe and efficacious Zika vaccine is a global health priority, says the World Health Organization (WHO), as significant Zika outbreaks continue in Central and South America in December 2023. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have not approved any Zika vaccine or treatment as of September 22, 2023. Clinical trials involving DNA, modified vaccinia Ankara vector platform, and purified inactivated virus vaccines showed they were potentially safe and well-tolerated in small studies and induced neutralizing antibodies. Research funded by the U.K.'s Newton Fund in 2022 supported the development of Zika vaccines.

Zika Vaccine Candidates 2023

VLA1601 is a highly purified, inactivated, adjuvanted Zika vaccine candidate adsorbed on aluminum hydroxide that has completed a phase 1 clinical trial. In 2023, Valneva SE will develop VLA1601 on the original manufacturing platform of the Japanese encephalitis vaccine IXIARO. Valneva plans to re-initiate clinical development in the first quarter of 2024.

ZPIV is a Zika virus vaccine candidate with purified formalin-inactivated Zika virus. In June 2023, a study found ZPIV to be well tolerated in flavivirus-naive and primed adults; bat immunogenicity varied significantly according to antecedent flavivirus vaccination status. Immune bias towards the flavivirus antigen of initial exposure and the timing of vaccination may have impacted responses. In this phase 1 clinical trial, a third ZPIV dose overcame much, but not all, of the discrepancy in immunogenicity.

TAK-426 (PIZV) is a purified, inactivated, alum-adjuvanted, whole Zika virus vaccine candidate. The Zika virus vaccine is being tested to provide safety and immunogenicity data to enable the vaccine to be further developed clinically.

iosBio OraPro-Zika is an orally administered Zika virus vaccine candidate based on a non-replicating human adenovirus type 5 (AdHu5) (E1/E3 deleted) expressing Zika transgenes.

GEO-ZM02 is constructed using a modified vaccinia Ankara vector platform. Preclinical studies demonstrated that a single dose of GEO-ZM02 provided 100% protection against a lethal dose of the Zika virus. This Zika vaccine is based on the virus's NS1 protein ka, which is not associated with antibody-dependent enhancement of infection.

Ad26.ZIKV.001 is a replication-incompetent human adenovirus serotype 26 (ad26) vector vaccine candidate. In a clinical trial, researchers found two doses of oAd26. ZIKV. 001 were safe, causing mild to moderate reactogenicity and induced persistent neutralizing antibody responses. The single dose had lower peak antibodies but was durable after one year. 

GeneOne Life Science and Inovio Pharmaceuticals DNA vaccine GLS-5700's phase 1, open-label clinical trial elicited anti-ZIKV immune responses. 

VRC5283 is a Zika virus DNA vaccine candidate composed of a single closed-circular DNA plasmid-encoded with wild-type precursor transmembrane M and envelope proteins from the H/PF/2013 strain of ZIKV. It is being tested in a phase 2 clinical study.

The University of Liverpool researchers at the Clinical Research Facility within the Royal Liverpool University Hospital said that on April 27, 2023, participants will receive two doses of the new vaccine. Up to 40 volunteers are planned for this phase of work, which will take place over the next nine months. 

rZIKV/D4Δ30-713 is a live attenuated chimeric Zika candidate vaccine expressing the premembrane (prM) and envelope (E) genes of a contemporary ZIKV strain within a dengue DEN4Δ30 background. It completed a phase 1 clinical trial. The researchers wrote - Our results suggest rZIKV/DEN4Δ30 is over-attenuated and thus will not be further developed as a candidate ZIKV vaccine.

Zika Outbreaks

During 2023, Zika outbreaks have been confirmed in numerous countries.

Zika Vaccine News

October 21, 2023 - Scientists deliberately infected people with Zika virus to learn whether such a strategy could help to test vaccine candidates.

June 27, 2023 - The Lancet Infectious Diseases published a phase 1 study that found ZPIV was well tolerated in flavivirus-naive and primed adults, and humoral immune responses rose substantially following a third dose of ZPIV.

May 2, 2023 - The first participant has received a dose of a new Zika virus vaccine being trialed by the University of Liverpool at the Clinical Research Facility within the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, based on work at the University of Manchester.

April 19, 2023 - Article: Scientists find different flavors of broadly neutralizing antibodies that could lead to new vaccines for growing threats.

April 1, 2023 - The journal Nature published results from a study: An effective live-attenuated Zika vaccine candidate with a modified five ′ untranslated region. These results suggest that modifying the ZIKV 5′ UTR is a novel strategy to develop live-attenuated vaccine candidates for ZIKV and potentially for other flaviviruses.

March 30, 2023 - Zika vaccines will be discussed at the 23rd World Vaccine Congress in Washington, D.C., on April 4, 2023.

February 21, 2023 - Medcape reported: Zika Virus Still Calls for Preparedness and Vaccine Development.

January 25, 2023 - GeoVax Labs, Inc. confirmed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a Notice of Allowance for Patent Application No. 17/000,768 titled, "Method for Generating a ZIKV Immune Response Utilizing a Recombinant Modified Vaccinia Ankara Vector Encoding the NS1 Protein."

January 19, 2023 - The Lancet Infectious Disease published a study: The safety and immunogenicity of two Zika virus mRNA vaccine candidates in healthy flavivirus baseline seropositive and seronegative adults: the results of two randomized, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging, phase 1 clinical trials. These findings support the continued development of mRNA-1893 against the ZIKV.

May 18, 2021 - The Lancet published a study that concluded that TAK-426 was well tolerated, had an acceptable safety profile, and was immunogenic in both flavivirus-naive and flavivirus-primed adults. Based on the safety and immunogenicity profiles of all TAK-426 doses assessed, the 10 μg TAK-426 amount was selected for further clinical development.

February 16, 2021 - The Zika virus candidate, Ad26.ZIKV.001, a replication-incompetent human adenovirus serotype 26 (ad26) vector, showed promising safety and immunogenicity in phase I clinical trials. Researchers say the vaccine warrants further development should the need reemerge.

August 7, 2020 - A new study describes the preclinical selection and development of a potent ZIKV vaccine from 9 constructs using SAM technology expressing various forms of the ZIKV prM-E antigen. This study identified one ZIKV SAM vaccine candidate, VRC5283, twhollytely protected mice and nonhuman primates from the ZIKV challenge.

April 15, 2020 - Moderna's Zika vaccine mRNA1893 low dose levels were very effective.

December 19, 2019 - A U.S. NIH-developed Zika vaccine improves fetal outcomes in an animal model.

November 28, 2017 - Takeda Pharmaceutical announced that its purified, inactivated, alum-adjuvanted whole Zika virus vaccine candidate (TAK-426) has progressed into a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Note: Zika vaccine content sources include, but are not limited to, the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, clinicaltrials.gov, and the Precision Vaccinations news network. Healthcare providers have reviewed this content.