Sanofi plans 'industrial scale' PhIII program for dengue vaccine

Faced with the resurgence of dengue in the U.S.--where it hasn't been seen in 65 years--and around the world, Sanofi-Aventis says that it is ramping up an "industrial scale" series of late-stage trials for a new vaccine with blockbuster potential.

According to a report in the New York Times, Sanofi's new vaccine could earn between $750 million and $1 billion a year as the virus spreads globally. In the U.S., dengue has been popping up along the Mexican border and health officials around the world are reporting fresh outbreaks with no drugs available to combat the epidemics.

"If everything goes well, we will have Phase 3 trials on an industrial scale by the end of the year," Sanofi vaccine chief Jean Lang tells the Times. According to Lang, the disease triggers 100 million new cases a year and kills some 25,000.

The worst cases trigger dengue hemorrhagic fever and the dengue shock syndrome, which can trigger a fatal case of internal bleeding. Sanofi is planning late-stage trials which will recruit thousands of people for each study.

- here's the article from the New York Times