Times Of India Examines Dengue Vaccine Trials

India could soon become a site for clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of a dengue vaccine, the Times of India reports. According to the drug controller general of India (DCGI), vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur recently submitted a proposal to test the vaccine to the country. If approved, India would be the latest country to join in studies of the vaccine’s effectiveness in adults and children, which are already taking place in Australia, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, according to the newspaper.

“There is no vaccine available for dengue fever that is a threat to around three billion people, mostly in Latin America and Asia,” the Times of India writes, adding, Sanofi’s vaccine “targets all four virus serotypes circulating in the U.S., Asia and Latin America.”

“In India, the two-year trial will involve 1,000 people,” explained Jean Lang of Sanofi’s vaccine program. “We will first try the three-shot vaccine on the 2-45 age group. After reviewing that result, we will use it on those between 9 months and 65 years. We want to see the immunogenicity response in Indians,” he added.

According to Lang, the company hopes to “have a viable, effective and safe dengue vaccine by 2015,” but will be watching closely as the results of an ongoing efficacy trial involving 4,000 children in Thailand wrap up. Lang said the data from that trial are expected to be available by the end of 2012. “Of the estimated 220 million people infected annually, two million – mostly children – develop dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Globally, the projected number of annual dengue infections is estimated between 50-100 million, with 24,000 deaths, who are mainly children,” according to the Times of India (Sinha, 2/10).

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