A vaccine to treat dengue fever by Sanofi Pasteur is currently undergoing late phase human studies in different parts of the world.
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group, has expanded dengue vaccine clinical program in Latin America with a new multicenter study in children and adolescent in Mexico, Colombia, Honduras and Puerto Rico .
Dengue vaccine’s new multicenter study complements an earlier study in Mexico and an ongoing study in Peru.
Sanofi Pasteur’s dengue vaccine research program includes ongoing clinical studies with adults and children in Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Peru, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand.
Currently, there is no specific treatment available against dengue fever, which is the most widespread tropical disease after malaria.
Sanofi Pasteur’s dengue vaccine candidate has been evaluated in clinical trials (Phase I, II) in adults and children from non-endemic (U.S.) and endemic countries of Mexico and Philippines.
Overall, a balanced immune response against all four serotypes was observed after three doses of the vaccine. The vaccine appears to be well tolerated with a similar safety profile after each dose.
Sanofi Pasteur’s tetravalent dengue vaccine is the leading dengue candidate vaccine in development.
Sanofi Pasteur’s studies are aimed at advancing the development of a novel vaccine for the prevention of dengue infections in Latin America.
“Latin America was considered almost free of dengue in the 1960s. Since then, urbanization and travel have contributed to the fast re-emergence of the disease. Today, dengue disease is a severe public health issue throughout Latin America,” said Dr. Roberto Tapia-Conyer, Director General at Carso Health Institute.
A safe and effective vaccine would be most welcome to prevent dengue epidemics in the region.
In 2008 and 2009, severe dengue epidemics have been reported in Mexico, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina.
Nineteen Latin American countries were certified as dengue free between 1952 and 1965. The first reappearance of dengue fever was recorded in 1968, and by 2007 the disease had once more taken hold in all those countries.
Many factors have contributed to the re-emergence and dramatic increase in dengue fever including urbanization and increased travel which facilitates dissemination of dengue viruses and the circulation of all four dengue serotypes in the region.
Most of the severe dengue cases are among children under the age of 15 years old.
Sanofi Pasteur started clinical studies with its most advanced tetravalent candidate vaccine started in the 2000s.
What is dengue fever?
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by four types of dengue viruses (type 1 to 4). Dengue is a potential threat for almost half of the world’s population. Of the estimated 230 million people infected annually, two million, mostly children, develop dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), a severe form of the disease. DHF is a leading cause of hospitalization, placing tremendous pressure on strained medical resources.
Dengue fever occurs mostly in tropical and subtropical countries in Asia and Latin America and is spreading to new parts of the globe each year. In addition, dengue affects countries such as Australia (Queensland) and the United States (Puerto Rico, Texas-Mexico border, Hawaii and the US-affiliated Pacific Islands). A substantial number of people traveling to endemic regions are also infected each year.
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, provided more than 1.6 billion doses of vaccine in 2008, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases.
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company.