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Takeda begins US government-backed phase 1 trial for Zika vaccine

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has started a phase 1 clinical trial, which is backed by the U.S. government, for its Zika virus vaccine TAK-426.

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The Japanese drugmaker, which is working on vaccines for two of the world's most prevalent mosquito-borne viruses, was awarded funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to develop the Zika vaccine in September 2016.

The trial will evaluate safety and immunogenicity of TAK-426 in subjects between the ages of 18 and 49 in the continental U.S. and U.S. territories, and will be conducted under a U.S. investigational new drug application.

Initial data from the trial is expected in 2018, and Takeda plans to start working toward initiating phase 2 studies as soon as possible.