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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

National Institutes of Health develops successful dengue vaccine


Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on Wednesday that a vaccine jointly developed by the NIH and the FDA had yielded positive results in a clinical trial in which volunteers were infected with dengue virus six months after receiving either their vaccine or a placebo injection.

“The findings from this trial are very encouraging to those of us who have spent many years working on vaccine candidates to protect against dengue, a disease that is a significant burden in much of the world and is now endemic in Puerto Rico,” Stephen Whitehead, who works at the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. “In fact, these results informed the recent decision by officials at Brazil’s Butantan Institute to advance the TV003 vaccine into a large phase 3 efficacy trial.”

The findings from the report indicate that all 21 volunteers who received the vaccine, TV003, were protected from infection, while all 20 patients who received the placebo treatment developed the infection. Whitehead and his colleagues managed to utilize innovative scientific techniques to create a form of the dengue virus that can be inoculated in patients without causing long-term harm to the volunteers.

“This modified dengue virus is very attractive for use as a challenge virus because we can use it to reliably induce dengue infection in a very high percentage of inoculated volunteers without causing serious illness,” Whitehead said.