Monday, March 12, 2012

Clinical Trials for Dengue Vaccine

Another Dengue vaccine is about to move from monkeys to humans! The vaccine, developed by the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center in Cuba (Centro de Ingeniería Genética y Biotecnología) and the Pasteur Institute, acts on all four serotypes. Clinical trials will begin later this year. Interestingly, the drive for a dengue vaccine in Cuba was lead by Fidel Castro after the 1981 outbreak that killed hundreds.

There are also at least five other vaccines in the pipeline, all of them tetravalent for reasons we all know. There's one by Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKlein, the NIH, Inviragen (CDC), and Merck. The Sanofi Pasteur vaccine is probably entering Phase III trials and can possibly be licensed as early as 2015; the others are entering Phase I or II. There are live attenuated chimeric and genetically modified vaccines, purified subunit vaccines, vaccina-recombinant vaccines, and even DNA vaccines. Reference.

Let's hope at least one of them can make it out and become a much-needed, internationally useful vaccine.

-Annelise

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