The Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative (PDVI), a program of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), and Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines business of sanofi-aventis, announced today their partnership to help develop and make a Dengue vaccine widely available for the global prevention of Dengue fever, the second most widespread tropical disease after malaria. The IVI is a Seoul-based non-profit international organization dedicated to vaccines for the world´s poor.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease affecting up to 100 million people every year, primarily children, resulting in 20,000 deaths from dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome, the most severe forms of the disease, according to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO). Overall, the disease is a potential threat for close to half the world´s population.
"Incidence and disease burden of dengue are widely underestimated due to lack of awareness, diagnostics and monitoring of the disease. Our primary objective is to ensure rapid introduction of Dengue vaccines into immunizations programs in all affected areas as soon as a vaccine becomes available" said Harold Margolis, Director of the PDVI. "
Dengue fever occurs mostly in tropical and subtropical countries. It is spreading to new parts of the globe each year, with documented cases of the disease in Northern Australia, the Middle East, and the United States (Texas and Hawaii). A substantial number of people traveling to endemic regions are also infected each year.
At the forefront of dengue vaccine development with an active research and development program which started in the 1990s, sanofi pasteur is currently evaluating its lead vaccine candidate in Latin America and Asia in expanded clinical Phase II trials.
"Our goal is to make Dengue a vaccine preventable disease. This partnership will help focus the attention of the immunization community on this debilitating disease that requires a strong commitment from all health partners" concluded Dave Williams, Chief Executive Officer of sanofi pasteur.
About the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative (PDVI)
The IVI is an international Organization established at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme under the Vienna Convention of 1969 as amended. Based in Seoul, Korea, the IVI operates under a treaty signed by 38 countries and the World Health Organization. It is governed by an independent Board of Trustees. The Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative is a program of the IVI funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the government of the Republic of Korea. The PDVI missions are to accelerate evaluation of candidate dengue vaccines, to facilitate the introduction of new and improved diagnostics and ultimately to help introduce safe and effective vaccines in dengue endemic countries. For more information, please visit: http://www.pdvi.org
The sanofi-aventis Group is the world´s third-largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular disease, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. The sanofi-aventis Group is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). For more information, please visit: www.sanofi-aventis.com.
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines business of the sanofi-aventis Group, sold more than a billion doses of vaccine in 2005, making it possible to protect more than 500 million people across the globe. The company offers the broadest range of vaccines, providing protection against 20 bacterial and viral diseases. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com