Wed, Jun 08, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Dengue vaccine to be developed with US

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Health and Welfare has reached an agreement with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a dengue vaccine and conduct clinical trials of the vaccine on older people in Taiwan in autumn, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Steve Kuo (郭旭崧) said yesterday in Taipei.

Dengue fever is a bigger health threat to older people in Taiwan, so the clinical trial will first be conducted on 250 people aged 50 to 75, Kuo said, adding that it would be the world’s first clinical trial of dengue vaccine on this age group.

Indigenous dengue cases aged between 50 and 75 accounted for 38.1 percent of all reported dengue cases last year, CDC statistics showed. This age group also accounted for 51.6 percent of all cases of dengue with severe complications last year.

The vaccine was developed by the NIH, which has conducted clinical trials in four countries, providing protections ranging from 80 to 100 percent against four types of dengue viruses, the CDC said.

Stephen Whitehead, a senior associate scientist at the NIH, said the dengue vaccine already in the market is aimed at people aged between nine and 45, so the cooperative project with Taiwan would be the first aimed at people aged 50 to 75.

As the first clinical trial is planned for this autumn, Durbin said they hope the second phase clinical trial can be completed by the end of next year, and the data can be used by Taiwan’s vaccine company for evaluation in the third phase.

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