FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2016

Sanofi may have dengue vaccine by 2015

Sanofi is hoping for positive results in September from an important dengue vaccine trial among children in Thailand that would allow it to market a vaccination by 2015.

The company invested $440 million in a new French facility to make the three dose vaccination. The shot could prevent an estimated 100 million cases of dengue infection each year and 20,000 annual deaths, Reuters reports.

Sanofi is getting ready for pressure to make its drug accessible to billions of people who do not have the money to pay the likely market price.

"There are going to be some challenges," Orin Levine, the executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center, said, according to Reuters. "There's really good economic potential from this vaccine but I think it may take a ramp-up of three to five years."

If data from the Thailand study is positive, Sanofi will file for market approval in dengue-endemic countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia and Australia in 2013. The filing could lead to a regulatory green light in 2014 and commercial launch in the beginning of 2015.

Outbreaks in Africa, Asia and the Americas have been identified since the 18th century. A 30-fold increase in cases has occurred in the past 50 years. The World Health Organization estimates that 50 to 100 million cases occur annually.