The pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur has announced that a new dengue vaccine has demonstrated efficacy in a ground breaking study conducted in Thailand.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the new vaccine has been examined in the world's first ever dengue efficacy trial. In the study the Sanofi Pasteur drug was shown to be able to protect against three of the four different types of the dengue virus.
The objective is to make dengue a vaccine-preventable disease and to make the vaccine available for people living in endemic regions of the world. According to the Global Post, the US Food and Drug Administration reportedly has granted "fast-track" status to the promising new vaccine.
The next phase of the study involves 31,000 participants based in ten Asian and Latin American countries.
Michel De Wilde, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Research & Development, Sanofi Pasteur said in a press release “Results of this first efficacy trial with Sanofi Pasteur’s dengue vaccine candidate represent a key milestone in the quest to develop a safe and efficacious human vaccine against dengue. This is also an important development for global public health, since there is currently no specific treatment or prevention for dengue. We are fully committed to making dengue a vaccine preventable disease by bringing a safe and effective vaccine to people living in endemic regions of the world.”
Dengue fever is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito.
The seriousness of dengue fever is very apparent with the situation in Cambodia, which, according to the Phnom Penh Post, is currently experiencing a dengue fever epidemic. Dengue fever is also a potential problem for the US, as the Digital Journal reported in July 2012.