Dengue fever vaccine shows proof of effectiveness

Sanofi Pasteur says the vaccine protects against three out of four dengue virus types

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of French drugmaker Sanofi, says its tetravalent dengue vaccine candidate proved effective against the disease in a study.

The mosquito-borne disease is said to be a threat to almost 3 billion people.

The firm conducted the world’s first dengue vaccine trial in 4,002 children aged 4 to 11 years in Thailand.

The live attenuated vaccine generated antibody response for all four dengue virus types. Evidence of protection was demonstrated against three of the four virus types circulating in Thailand. Analyses are ongoing to understand the lack of protection for the fourth type in the particular epidemiological context of the country.

‘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,’ said Michel De Wilde, executive vice president of research and development at Sanofi Pasteur.

‘This is also an important development for global public health, since there is currently no specific treatment or prevention for dengue.’

Sanofi says the results confirm the excellent safety profile of the vaccine candidate. Scientific and clinical experts are currently reviewing the data and detailed results of the study will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented to the scientific community later this year.

Large-scale phase III dengue vaccine clinical studies with 31,000 participants are underway in 10 countries of Asia and Latin America. These studies will generate important additional data in a broader population and in a variety of epidemiological settings to demonstrate vaccine efficacy against the four circulating dengue virus types.