GSK has been closely monitoring the outbreak of Zika in Brazil since it began in the fall. Like dengue, Zika is a Flavivirus but we think it is very unlikely that our dengue candidate vaccine or indeed any dengue vaccine would induce cross-protective immunity. We don't currently have any Zika vaccine candidates in development. However, recognising the health threat it poses, we are evaluating the feasibility of starting a Zika vaccine discovery programme, based on our technology platforms which we believe could be suitable for working on this target. Vaccine development is a lengthy process, typically taking 10-15 years.
Zika, along with a number of other recent biodefense scares such as Ebola, show it is essential that the world is better prepared to identify and respond to future public health threats in advance of outbreaks to avoid devastating consequences for human health, economies and global security. Being prepared means improving the identification of threats and strengthening health systems. It is also critical that we find ways to better coordinate R&D for vaccines, diagnostics, treatments, and related tools to fight pathogens that are most likely to cause epidemics and that we can ensure access to manufacturing capacity to make them when required.