Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, has announced that the Mexican authorities have granted marketing authorization to Dengvaxia, making it the first vaccine to be licensed in the world for the prevention of dengue.
The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) has approved Dengvaxia, tetravalent dengue vaccine, for the prevention of disease caused by all four dengue virus serotypes in preadolescents, adolescents and adults, 9–45 years of age living in endemic areas.
“When Sanofi set out to develop a dengue vaccine 20 years ago, together with local and global public health and scientific communities, it was with the intention of developing an innovative vaccine to tackle this global public health need,” said Olivier Brandicourt, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi. “Today, with this first marketing authorization of Dengvaxia, we have achieved our goal of making dengue the next vaccine-preventable disease. This is a historic milestone for our company, for the global public health community and, most importantly, for half the world’s population who lives at risk of dengue.”
The COFEPRIS approval of Dengvaxia is based on results from an extensive clinical development programme involving more than 40,000 people of different ages, geographic and epidemiological settings, and ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds living in 15 countries. Dengue-endemic regions of Mexico participated in all three phases of the clinical development programme for the vaccine.
“Dengue is a growing health threat in Mexico and many other tropical and subtropical countries in Latin America and Asia. The first vaccine approved to prevent dengue fever is a major innovation and a public health breakthrough. Dengvaxia will be a critical addition to the integrated dengue prevention and control efforts. It will be an essential tool to boost on-going community efforts to relieve the long-standing suffering that this disease continues to bring to people in endemic countries like ours,” asserts José Luis Arredondo García, Associate Director of Clinical Research in the National Institute of Paediatrics.
Regulatory review processes for Dengvaxia are continuing in other endemic countries. Manufacturing of Dengvaxia has already started at vaccine facilities in France and first doses are already produced. Sanofi Pasteur remains committed to introducing Dengvaxia first in countries where dengue is a major public health priority.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for development of a dengue vaccine as an essential part of the integrated dengue prevention effort needed to significantly lower the dengue burden globally. WHO has called on endemic countries to reduce dengue mortality by 50% and morbidity by 25% by 2020.
Disease impact modelling results indicate if you vaccinate 20% of the population in the 10 endemic countries that participated in the Phase III efficacy studies for Dengvaxia, in the ages 9 and above indication, you could potentially reduce your dengue burden by 50% in 5 years. Such a significant disease reduction in this large at-risk population would result in a smaller pool of infected individuals in a given country and, therefore, fewer mosquitoes capable of transmitting the disease, potentially leading to an overall lowering of transmission risk for all.