The world's first vaccine against dengue, developed by French drugmaker Sanofi, has shown the ability to protect against disease caused by three of four dengue virus strains in a keenly awaited clinical trial in Thailand.
Sanofi said on Wednesday the proof of efficacy was "a key milestone" in the 70-year quest to develop a viable dengue shot, adding the results also confirmed the safety profile of the vaccine candidate.
The mosquito-borne disease - also known as "breakbone fever" - is a threat to nearly 3 billion people and is caused by four different types of virus, none of which confers immunity from the others.
Sanofi's vaccine generated an antibody response for all four dengue virus types, but evidence of protection was only demonstrated against three of the four circulating in Thailand. Sanofi said researchers were carrying out analyses to understand the lack of protection for the fourth serotype.
The company's vaccine unit, Sanofi Pasteur, has already invested 350 million euros ($423 million) in a new French factory to make the three-dose vaccine and believes its product could generate 1 billion euros in yearly sales.
But uptake of the vaccine will depend on precisely how well doctors believe it can protect populations at risk in fast-expanding tropical cities from Rio to Manila, as well as travelers.
Sanofi gave no details on the level of protection in a brief statement. The full data are now being reviewed by scientific experts and public health officials, with detailed results to be published later this year.
Sanofi previously said it planned to present the findings at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Atlanta in November.
Large-scale late-stage Phase III clinical studies with 31,000 participants are under way with Sanofi's vaccine in 10 countries in Asia and Latin America.
Travel across multiple time zones disrupts circadian rhythms resulting in jet lag
After five years the radiation levels in the Pacific Ocean are close to normal levels after a nuclear meltdown in the city
A trilateral pledge will see a jump from the current collective clean power levels of about 37% to 50% by 2025
Around 6.5 million deaths globally are attributed each year to poor air quality inside and outside, making it the world's fourth-largest threat to human health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking
New World Drug Report research identifies heroin as deadliest drug
Zika has caused alarm throughout the Americas since cases of the birth defect microcephaly were reported in Brazil, the country hardest hit by the outbreak
Philadelphia has become the first big city in the US to place a tax on soda to tackle the obesity crisis
Average global temperatures startlingly higher than normal between March-May
Government study provides strongest evidence of cell phone health effects
The reason for the high-level threat in the area is the presence there of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which carry the Zika virus that health authorities say causes birth defects in newborns
Three-day African Utility Week conference begins in South African city of Cape Town
More than two thousand activists came together to close an opencast coal mine in Germany.
New federal rules unveiled on Thursday will tackle the release of the greenhouse gas methane from oil wells and equipment as part of an effort to fight climate change.
At least five reef islands in the remote Solomon Islands have been lost completely to sea level rise and coastal erosion
Heads of UN, Work Bank lay out vision to deal with climate change