SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Arbovax dengue vaccine moves to Phase I clinical trials

The development-stage biotech company Arbovax recently announced it is ready to move to Phase I clinical trials of its novel dengue fever vaccine.

Arbovax said it is ready to begin further testing of its tetravalent dengue vaccine because of its proven efficacy in non-human primate studies.

"We are exceptionally pleased with the results of this pre-clinical trial, especially in light of some of the disappointing results from recent clinical trials involving vaccines under development by others," Arbovax CEO Malcolm Thomas said. "These results show we're on track to produce a meaningful weapon against the global increase in dengue fever outbreaks."

The company used a unique immunization program to test the drug. Arbovax researchers injected each of the four dengue strains into a different limb of their test subjects. The distribution method served to eliminate the possibility of viral replication interfering with the test. When two or more strains of a virus infect the same tissue, they often compete with one another, which can interfere with a balanced immune response.

Arbovax's approach requires a single round of vaccination with no additional booster or adjuvant needed. This may prove helpful in distributing the vaccine in the developing world, where access to transportation and medical care is often limited.

"The Arbovax tetravalent vaccine is the only vaccine of its kind. It combines good science and virus knowledge to overcome problems in the dengue biology that so far has made the dengue vaccine issue a very difficult task," Dr. Davis Ferreira of the Federal University at Rio de Janiero said.