As part of the Zika Response and Preparedness Act, 2017 (H.R. 5325), NIAID received $152 million in emergency supplemental funding. These funds will allow the Institute to continue progress made with an investment of more than $92 million in fiscal year 2016 that used repurposed Ebola funds, the HHS Secretary’s transfer of funds from other NIH institutes, and NIAID’s FY 16 appropriation.
Here's a look at how the Institute plans to use the supplemental Zika funds.
A total of $129 million will be directed to the critical development of vaccines, including the discovery and development of new and existing candidates, manufacturing activities, preclinical testing, establishing clinical trials sites in endemic regions, and conducting clinical trials to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of vaccine candidates.
Currently, NIAID is advancing five lead candidates and will continue to support the discovery and development of additional potential vaccine platforms and candidates, such as virus-like particle and other virus-vectored vaccines.
Zika in Infants and Pregnancy (ZIP)
The Institute is providing $7 million to continue efforts of the ZIP study. Begun in FY 16, the study aims to enroll and follow approximately 10,000 women throughout their pregnancies as well as their infants for at least one year after birth at 15 sites.
FY 17 funding will go towards enrolling participants and sustaining operations at clinical sites in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico, and will include funding for ongoing monitoring of infants to provide critical answers about the range and risk of congenital abnormalities caused by the virus.
To learn more about ZIP, read NIH's June 21, 2016 News Release.
Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Vector Control, and Other Interventions
NIAID is devoting $16 million to the discovery, development, and evaluation of diagnostics, therapeutics, vector control, and other countermeasures.
Support for these research areas will be funded through intramural and extramural mechanisms, including contract and grant supplements. Research project grants will include a combination of awards made in response to funding opportunity announcements such as Rapid Assessment of Zika Virus (ZIKV) Complications (R21), as well as unsolicited (investigator-initiated) applications.
Funds will support the development and validation of new and better molecular and serological diagnostics, including research to develop rapid, specific, and low-cost Zika virus diagnostic tests, which will have increased sensitivity to more accurately distinguish Zika virus infection from other related viruses such as dengue.
NIAID and its partners are also supporting several approaches to therapeutics. These include screening of FDA-approved and investigational antiviral drugs for potential use in treatment or prophylaxis, as well as evaluating in animal models potential therapeutics such as BCX4430 and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against Zika.