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US Army And France's Sanofi Combine Work on Zika Vaccine

In this May 17, 2016, photo, Matthew Aliota, assistant scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, works with a strain of Aedes aegypti mosquito in a research lab. (Jeff Miller/UW-Madison via AP)
In this May 17, 2016, photo, Matthew Aliota, assistant scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, works with a strain of Aedes aegypti mosquito in a research lab. (Jeff Miller/UW-Madison via AP)

PARIS — Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi says it is joining efforts with U.S. Army researchers to speed up development of a potential Zika vaccine.

France-based Sanofi SA said in a statement Wednesday that the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research will transfer its Zika vaccine technology to Sanofi Pasteur, the company's vaccine arm. Sanofi views the agreement as "opening the door for a broader collaboration with the U.S. government."

Financial details were not disclosed.

Vaccine development usually takes years. Sanofi made the first vaccine shot against dengue — which is related to Zika — but it required 20 years of development and $1 billion. Sanofi and U.S. researchers are trying to leverage experience with related viruses to accelerate work on Zika amid the current outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus across the Americas.

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