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Sanofi Pasteur dengue vaccine shows success in Asia study

Sanofi's dengue vaccine shows promise in Phase III efficacy trials
Sanofi's dengue vaccine shows promise in Phase III efficacy trialsCDC

The mosquito borne viral disease, Dengue fever, causes significant illness and death worldwide, in fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) says over 2.5 billion people – over 40 percent of the world's population – are now at risk from dengue.

The UN health body estimates there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year, and this may be lowballing it. Researchers from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.

There is currently no preventive vaccine for dengue fever; however, new Phase III efficacy studies data released by vaccine manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur today shows some real success in reducing dengue fever in Asian children.

The company notes that the efficacy study showed a significant reduction of 56% of dengue disease cases in the trial involving 10,275 children, aged 2 to 14 years, from dengue endemic areas of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Analysis of the safety data was consistent with the good safety profile observed in previous studies, Sanofi said.

The press release offered little more detail, only saying, "Full analysis of the data will be undertaken in the coming weeks and reviewed by external experts prior to disclosure at an upcoming international scientific congress and publication in a peer-reviewed journal later this year."

“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,” said Olivier Charmeil, President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur. “Developing a dengue vaccine for the benefit of children and their parents is at the heart of our mission. Our goal is to make dengue the next vaccine-preventable disease and to support the WHO’s ambition to reduce dengue mortality by 50% and morbidity by 25% by 2020.”

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

There is not a vaccine for dengue fever. There is no treatment for dengue, just treat the symptoms.