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First Ever Dengue Vaccine Show Promise in Late-Stage Trial

Update Date: Apr 28, 2014 10:11 AM EDT
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An experimental vaccine for dengue fever shows promise in its first late-stage trial, according to French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi. Dengue fever, which is also known as breakbone fever, is a virus that is transmitted via mosquitos. Dengue fever affects roughly 100 million people per year with symptoms such as fever, headache and muscle or joint pains. A vaccine could reduce those rates dramatically.

In the trial, the researchers tested the vaccine on 10,275 children from the Southeast Asian countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The children were between the ages of two and 14. Two-thirds of the children were given three shots of the vaccine over the span of one year. The remaining one-third acted as the control group and had three injections of a placebo over the same period of time. They found that the vaccine was capable of lowering the incidence rate of dengue fever by 56 percent. That percentage was enough to achieve the study's primary goal.

"This achievement is the result of more than 20 years of work in the field of dengue, collaborating with investigators, volunteers, authorities, scientific experts and international organizations," Olivier Charmeil, chief executive of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine arm of the company, said reported by the New York Times. "Our goal is to make dengue the next vaccine-preventable disease."

In the press release, the company did not reveal a lot of other details regarding the vaccine. The company stated that it is still in the process of analyzing the data, which will be presented at a medical conference and published in a peer-reviewed journal sometime in the near future. The vaccine is currently in a second Phase 3 study that recruited more than 20,000 people from Latin America. The results are expected to be released later on this year.

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