SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Partnership to create dengue vaccine announced

Vaccine developer Inviragen, Inc. and the International Vaccine Institute have announced a partnership to make a widely accessible dengue fever vaccine.

“The International Vaccine Institute, in collaboration with Inviragen, a company that has shown a commitment to developing a vaccine for dengue, plans to expedite the collective goal of developing and introducing a safe, effective and affordable dengue vaccine in the near future,” Dr. Luis da Silva, the director of the Dengue Vaccine Initiative, said. “Dengue is not simply a public health threat but can have a catastrophic effect on the economic status of those living in poverty around the globe. The time is now to invest in the development of dengue vaccines.”

The IVI, through the Dengue Vaccine Initiative, is developing plans to raise awareness of the need to invest in the development and research of a dengue vaccine and to finance the distribution and development of vaccines. As part of the memorandum of understanding, the two organizations will attempt to further those goals and aim to strengthen the regulatory and policy environments to accelerate dengue vaccine development and introduction and to raise funding to assist lower income countries with procuring available vaccine candidates.

Two-fifth of the world's population is at risk of contracting dengue, a mosquito-borne infection that causes severe flu-like symptoms. The infection is endemic in more than 120 countries and there is no specific treatment or reliable prevention method for countering infection.

“Inviragen’s collaboration with the DVI will allow us to address issues of vaccine acceptance and distribution while we continue clinical testing of our tetravalent DENVax vaccine in dengue endemic countries," Dr. Dan Stinchcomb, the CEO of Inviragen, said. "We look forward to working with IVI and other member organizations of the DVI on this critical effort to advance the development and utilization of a safe and effective vaccine that targets the four strains of the dengue virus.”