- by breakdengue

How close are we to a dengue vaccine?

Dengue vaccine development is well underway and Sanofi Pasteur is not the only pharmaceutical company making progress in the development of a dengue vaccine. GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and Takeda are each at different stages of development of vaccines of their own, as are other nonprofit organizations. Here’s how a few of them are getting on.

In May 2013, Japanese pharma firm Takeda underlined its support for the development of a dengue vaccine with the acquisition of a US start-up, Inviragen. The vaccine candidate, DENVax is currently in phase II clinical trials (according to Takeda’s August 2014 pipeline report.) It’s being tested in Colombia, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and Thailand. The vaccine candidate aims to offer protection against all four strains of dengue.

GlaxoSmithKline, meanwhile, entered into a partnership with Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation to develop and manufacturer a dengue vaccine that originally came out of military research – from the US army’s Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. It’s currently in phase I clinical trials.

Merck began dengue vaccine development in 2010 when it acquired the dengue vaccine research unit at Hawaii Biotech. It is currently in phase I clinical trials, which are due to close at the end of 2014.

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Other organizations include Brazil’s Instituto Butantan, which is currently recruiting participants for phase II of its clinical trials. This is a public initiative, as Instituto Butantan is affiliated with São Paulo’s state health secretary. The US-government funded National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is also testing dengue vaccines in phase I clinical trials.

It is encouraging to see that so many firms and organizations are working to come up with a vaccine against one of the fastest growing neglected tropical diseases.

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