Sanofi touts dengue fever vaccine data

In a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, Sanofi-Aventis reports that all 66 subjects enrolled in a trial of its dengue fever vaccine were protected from the disease after receiving three injections over 15 months. And many were protected in just two shots--even patients whose first injection was a placebo. Sanofi says the results "paved the way for ongoing and future large-scale efficacy trials of our candidate."

Construction is already underway for a $477 million vaccine plant in France, which will pump out massive quantities of the vaccine if it is eventually approved. If the safety profile is acceptable, regulators will be very motivated to approve the drug; some 50 million people are infected each year with dengue, and there is no approved treatment for the disease as of yet. Sanofi is already testing the vaccine in children, who are more likely to become seriously ill and die of dengue than adults. The company hopes to see the shot approved by 2015.

- see this Bloomberg article for more