Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company, recently announced that it has developed an experimental vaccine for dengue. The vaccine is the product of its first clinical trial.
In the trial which involved 10,275 children aged 2 to 14 years old in Southeast Asian nations such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, the experimental vaccine for dengue was able to reduce dengue cases by as much as 56 percent. This was against three out of the four subtypes of the virus.
In the Philippines, the study was conducted among 3,500 children in barangays Guadalupe in Cebu City and San Pablo in Laguna.
This study will have further insight into the vaccine’s efficacy once the results from Latin America are released during the third quarter of this year. The participating countries include Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Said Olivier Charmell, the President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, “This achievement is the result of more than 20 years of work in the field of dengue. Our goal is to make dengue the next vaccine-preventable disease and to support the World Health Organization’s ambition to reduce dengue mortality by 50 percent and morbidity by 25 percent by 2020.”
Sanofi Pasteur Philippines country manager Ching Santos, in an interview with inquirer.net, said, “Infection with one type of the virus produces life-long immunity but only to that particular strain. Infection with another strain of dengue virus increases the chance of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, both serious and potentially-deadly diseases. Typically, an epidemic caused by one dengue strain is followed a few years later by an epidemic caused by one of the remaining three strains.
Health Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag stressed that Filipinos should still be vigilant against the virus even if the number of recorded dengue cases from January to March 2014 was lower by half compared to last year (15,374 this year versus 31,407 last year). He also reminded Pinoys that the numbers could always rise as mosquitoes can still breed in shallow parts of rivers or in stagnant bodies of water.
Sanofi stated that it is still analyzing data from the study and that they would be presenting these findings in greater detail at a medical conference and in a publication within the year.
Sources: • April 28, 2014. Andrew Pollack. “Results Are Promising in Clinical Trial of Dengue Fever Vaccine” nytimes.com • May 3, 2014. Charles E. Buban. “World’s first dengue vaccine shows promising trial results” business.inquirer.net • May 6, 2014. Lili Ilajman. “A First in Dengue Vaccine Study” nst.com.my