Currently, there is no specific treatment available for dengue fever, which is a threat to nearly half of the world's population and a public health priority in many countries of Latin America and Asia where epidemics occur. Of the estimated 220 million people infected annually, two million - mostly children - develop dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), a severe form of the disease (1). DHF is a leading cause of hospitalization, placing tremendous pressure on strained medical resources and having a heavy economic and societal impact.
"Each year, an estimated two million people with dengue hemorrhagic fever require hospitalization representing a significant burden on the fragile healthcare systems of developing and endemic nations," said Dr. Ragnar Norrby, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of IVI. "With a dengue vaccine on the short term horizon, this collaboration will focus on accelerating its adoption and introduction and on making it accessible to those at highest risk of dengue."
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced the launch of the DVI on February 10, in collaboration with the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the Johns Hopkins University, and the World Health Organization, to support development of vaccines to control dengue fever.
"The fight against dengue requires a strong global commitment from all public health partners. The first dengue vaccine is now in the final stages of development. The IVI will be a key player in facilitating discussions among policy makers, with the objective of ensuring that once licensed the vaccine will be made available to those populations that need it most in a timely manner," stated Olivier Charmeil, Senior Vice President, sanofi-aventis, Vaccines.
About International Vaccine Institute
The International Vaccine Institute is an international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines for the world's poorest people, especially children in developing countries. The IVI conducts research in 30 countries in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America on vaccines against diarrheal infections, bacterial meningitis and pneumonia, Japanese encephalitis, and dengue fever, and develops new and improved vaccines, delivery routes and adjuvants at its headquarters in Seoul, Korea.
About Dengue Vaccine Initiative
The Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI) was established in 2010 to build on the work of the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative and to further awareness of the need to support the development and use of dengue vaccines. The goal of the DVI is to accelerate the introduction of safe and broadly protective vaccines into the national immunization programs of endemic and developing countries. DVI works with scientists, vaccine experts and policy makers from concept to implementation, promoting the development of dengue vaccines while also advocating with governments worldwide to ensure the swift adoption and distribution of a vaccine to those most in need.
Sanofi Pasteur's global dengue vaccine clinical study program
Sanofi Pasteur's candidate dengue vaccine - which targets all four virus serotypes - is in Phase 3 clinical study. Phase 3 studies are the ultimate steps in the clinical development of a vaccine before it is submitted to regulatory authorities for evaluation for market authorization. Sanofi Pasteur candidate dengue vaccine has been evaluated in clinical studies (Phase 1, 2) in adults and children in the U.S., Asia and Latin America. Overall, a balanced immune response against all four serotypes was observed after three doses of the vaccine. The vaccine is well tolerated with a similar safety profile after each dose.(2)
Clinical studies in adults and children are ongoing in Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Peru, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, and Thailand.
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, 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. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development.
1. PDVI Newsletter N° 7, April 2010 accessible at http://www.pdvi.org/PDFs/newsletters/PDVInewsletter7.pdf
2. Saville et al, Clinical development of a tetravalent dengue vaccine for endemic areas, ICID Miami, March 2010; Lang et al, Toward a tetravalent dengue vaccine in Brazil, Tropical Medicine meeting, Iguacu Falls, March 2010