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.”
What We're Following See More »
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."
"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.
"Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are working on legislation that would limit deportations" under President-elect Donald Trump. Leading the effort are Judiciary Committee members Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is also expected to sign on.
Donald Trump has selected retired Marine Gen. James 'Mad Dog' Mattis as his secretary of defense, according to The Washington Post. Mattis retired from active duty just four years ago, so Congress will have "to pass new legislation to bypass a federal law that states secretaries of defense must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years." The official announcement is likely to come next week.