The money grab by pharmaceutical companies is officially on as the WHO recently announced Zika as having an aggressive worldwide infection potential. Being the vaccine provider could literally make a pharmaceutical company billions of dollars. The funding is already in place, but more importantly, so is the worldwide fear.
According to financial news site, StreetInsider.com, Inovio Pharma has announced it plans to start testing the Zika vaccine (which currently does not exist) in humans.
Inovio Pharma (NASDAQ: INO) CEO J. Joseph Kim said in a phone interview with Bloomberg that it plans to start testing its DNA-based Zika vaccine in non-human primates. Currently the vaccine is being tested on lab mice, but it is able to move faster than traditional vaccine development timelines. Testing in humans is targeted for this year.
Keep in mind, Inovio in this case is releasing PR based on funding, so the testing on humans portion is deliberate and widely accepted. The vaccine doesn’t exist, no one has any idea how to cure it, but target dates on human testing are already in place. Would you like to sign up to be tested by a pharmaceutical company for a vaccine that no one has any idea if they can even create? Imagine being some of the first humans to be involved in such testing. Remember a couple of weeks back, a french pharmaceutical company injured and even killed some people by performing human testing for the sake of anti-anxiety medications.
While I don’t ever want to understate the seriousness of the Zika virus, but I do think headlines touting it as “explosive” when describing it’s spread is far reaching and fear mongering for the sake of pushing a vaccine. The WHO says “the level of alarm is extremely high.” People are now frightened of something that is barely (31 cases as of 1-28) in the United States and isn’t yet a real legitimate threat to the people. To think a pharmaceutical company is already making a play to dangerously test a vaccine on humans is insane.
If pharmaceutical companies were looking for real solutions, I would definitely not have written this article. But that’s not the case, the pharmaceutical companies are seeing the sad state of birth defects as a position of leverage. They see it as a way to profit and create a new revenue stream. They have no qualms testing on humans. And who knows how effective their solutions will be or how many injuries these solutions will cause? Pharmaceutical companies can’t be sued, so they operate under complete immunity. They have no fear of injurious failures. Situations such as the Zika outbreak is the perfect, most comfortable place for them to exist.