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J&J, Wellcome Trust, Academics To Research Dengue Therapies

“Johnson & Johnson is joining the hunt for drugs to treat dengue fever — the world’s fastest-spreading tropical disease — by linking with academic researchers in Belgium and the Wellcome Trust medical charity,” Reuters reports. “The tie-up between J&J’s Janssen unit and researchers at the University of Leuven, who have received backing from Wellcome, will build on the discovery of a series of chemical compounds that are highly potent in preventing the replication of dengue virus,” for which there is no treatment or vaccine, according to the news agency. “Experts estimated in April that there may be as many as 390 million dengue infections around the world each year, although not all patients get seriously sick,” Reuters notes (Hirschler, 8/29).