A new law will give researchers an incentive to find a cure for Zika virus.
President Obama signed the law Tuesday, adding Zika to the Food and Drug Administration’s Tropical Disease Priority Review Voucher program.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, sponsored the bill.
“The most effective way to stop the spread of this virus is to find a cure,” Nelson said in a statement. “Adding the Zika virus to the FDA’s priority review program will help encourage drug makers to devote the resources needed to develop a treatment as quickly as possible.”
Under the program, drug makers who develop a treatment can get a voucher that allows them to expedite the FDA approval process on any other drug the company chooses.
The company can cut the time it takes to get the drug approved from 10 months to six. Companies are also allowed to sell the voucher to another drug maker.
Nelson also repeated his call for congressional colleagues to approve the White House’s request for an additional $1.9 billion to fight Zika.
As of Tuesday, 91 Zika cases have been reported in Florida. All of them are travel related.