GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, Feb. 21—An estimated 3.6 billion individuals (55% of the world’s population) are at risk of contracting dengue, a widespread and expanding hemorrhagic disease for which there exists no specific treatment or reliable prevention method.
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and Sanofi Pasteur today announced there intent to work together towards creating the conditions to make a dengue vaccine widely accessible to countries where this disease is endemic. A dengue vaccine would represent the most effective control tool against this major public health threat.
“A dengue vaccine represents the most viable prevention tool in our quest to reduce the growing number of dengue infections occurring globally each year,” said Dr. Ragnar Norrby, Chairman of the IVI Board of Trustees. “We thank Sanofi Pasteur for their commitment to reducing the considerable burden placed on communities and health systems around the world due to dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever. “
Dengue, a mosquito-borne infection which causes severe flu-like symptoms, is a public health concern in more than 120 countries. Its potentially lethal complication, dengue hemorrhagic fever, is characterized by bleeding, plasma fluid leakage, and in severe cases shock and death. Each year, an estimated 2 million people with dengue hemorrhagic fever require hospitalization.
“Sanofi Pasteur is proud to partner with the IVI against dengue which is a threat to nearly three billion individuals across the globe,” said Olivier Charmeil, President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur. “Our dengue vaccine candidate entered final stage of development in 2010. The IVI will be a key player in facilitating discussions among policy makers with the objective of ensuring that once licensed the vaccine is available to those most in need.”
Earlier this month, the IVI announced the launch of the Dengue Vaccine Initiative, in collaboration with the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the Johns Hopkins University, and the World Health Organization. Through a $6.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DVI will accelerate the availability and utilization of safe, affordable and broadly protective vaccines to combat dengue.
About International Vaccine Institute
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is an international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines for the world’s poorest people, especially children in developing countries. The IVI conducts research in 30 countries in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America on vaccines against diarrheal infections, bacterial meningitis and pneumonia, Japanese encephalitis, and dengue fever, and develops new and improved vaccines, delivery routes and adjuvants at its headquarters in Seoul, Korea.
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). For more information, please visit:
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, provides more than one billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company´s heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us
Tae Kyung Byun, International Vaccine Institute, +82 2-881-1159, firstname.lastname@example.org