PARIS:- French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi announced Tuesday that it had begun research and development into a vaccine against the mosquito-borne Zika virus , blamed for causing a surge in brain-damaged babies. The company said the success of its Sanofi Pasteur vaccines division in developing a vaccine against dengue fever could be “rapidly leveraged” in the fight against Zika. “Sanofi Pasteur leads the vaccine field for viruses in the same family as Zika virus (ZIKV), with licensed vaccines against yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and, most recently, dengue,” it said in a statement.–AFP