French Firm: First-Ever Dengue Vaccine Proves Effective in Tests

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Global Security Newswire Staff
April 28, 2014, 8:54 a.m.

A French bi­o­tech­no­logy firm an­nounced pro­gress in de­vel­op­ing what would be the first vac­cin­a­tion ever for pre­vent­ing dengue fever, the New York Times re­ports.

The com­pany San­ofi on Monday said its de­vel­op­ment­al dengue vac­cine cut in­fec­tions by 56 per­cent in an ini­tial ad­vanced clin­ic­al test with 10,275 child par­ti­cipants in South­east Asia. Ad­di­tion­al in­form­a­tion on the find­ings is slated for re­lease in print and at a med­ic­al gath­er­ing later in 2014, the firm said.

Spread via mos­qui­tos, the dis­ease af­fects as many as 100 mil­lion people world­wide an­nu­ally. There are con­cerns that it could also po­ten­tially be used in bio­lo­gic­al war­fare.

The United States has com­mit­ted biode­fense dol­lars to pre­par­ing im­mun­iz­a­tions and oth­er drug coun­ter­meas­ures against the vir­us, which most fre­quently kills young­er people and of­ten af­fects pop­u­la­tions in the trop­ics and sub­trop­ics. The latest study took place in In­done­sia, Malay­sia, the Phil­ip­pines, Thai­l­and and Vi­et­nam.

Two-thirds of the tri­al sub­jects, all chil­dren from ages 2 to 14, re­ceived three shots of the vac­cine. The re­main­ing con­trol group re­ceived a mock vac­cin­a­tion for the vir­us.

“This achieve­ment is the res­ult of more than 20 years of work in the field of dengue, col­lab­or­at­ing with in­vest­ig­at­ors, vo­lun­teers, au­thor­it­ies, sci­entif­ic ex­perts and in­ter­na­tion­al or­gan­iz­a­tions,” Olivi­er Charmeil, head of the firm’s vac­cin­a­tion branch, said in re­leased com­ments. “Our goal is to make dengue the next vac­cine-pre­vent­able dis­ease.”

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