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.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said 12 cases of Zika had been detected across the Philippines this month, including a 22-year-old woman from the central island of Cebu who is 19 weeks' pregnant with her first child.
When Rufino Borrego was 13, he was diagnosed by a Lisbon hospital as having incurable muscular dystrophy, the Jornal de Noticias reported.
Facebook CEO, wife to begin $3 billion initiative by building new research center
In a joint statement, the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency confirmed 16 new cases, four of which were not linked to existing cluster areas.
A report by the The Climate Institute suggests that coffee could become extinct by 2080 if serious changes aren't made
The US and China - together responsible for 40% of the world's carbon emissions - have now both ratified the Paris global climate agreement.
Government says antibacterial soaps no better than plain soaps, could affect human health
Indonesia joins countries issuing travel advisory for Singapore, where number of viral infection cases have risen to 82
When dealing with ADHD, learning disorders and autism, how many of us focus on the connection between our gut flora, what we eat, and our mental state?
In an interview Hollywood actor Jean Claude Van Damme has stated that he favoured Arabic food and that the diet followed by the Prophet Muhammad was one that was best for the human body
El Nino has devastated Mozambique's Gorongosa park with political tensions threatening the park
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on skin for a few minutes to create suction, the therapy itself dates back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad.
The Earth has hit a record high with an overall globel temperature the highest ever on record
The National Institute of Health may fund research into mixed embryos to better understand human diseases and develop therapies to treat them.
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