An unassuming Indian American scientist, a former commuter-rail acquaintance of mine, led the teams behind the dengue-fever vaccine approved in December for use in Mexico.
Rogerio Jelmayer at the Wall Street Journal reports the vaccine was next approved for the Philippines and Brazil. “Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of France’s SanofiSA, [has] secured approval from Brazilian authorities to market its dengue fever vaccine amid an explosion of cases across Latin America’s largest nation. …
“The approval of Dengvaxia comes as Brazil is battling two other serious mosquito-borne diseases for which there are no vaccines. In addition to dengue, Brazil also has seen a rise in the number of cases of chikungunya, [but] the most worrisome epidemic is the spread of the Zika virus.” The Wall Street Journal article is behind the firewall, so read more at the NY Times, here.
I’m hoping that my train buddy’s vaccine will come to the rescue for zika, too, as a blog I just visited suggests: “France’s Sanofi SA, which won endorsement toward the end of last year for the principal dengue immunization, has said it is inspecting the likelihood of applying its innovation for Zika.”
For all the negative press about drug companies, they do have teams quietly laboring for years on vitally necessary vaccines and cures.
Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
An Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that spreads dengue fever.