Sanofi Pasteur: partnering with International Vaccine Institute (IVI) against dengue

9 March 2011

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, announced on 21st February 2011, that it is partnering with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) to support the recently launched "Dengue Vaccine Initiative" (DVI). Sanofi Pasteur and the IVI will aim to raise awareness and to work to move dengue vaccination higher on the global health agenda.

The Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI) was established in 2010 to build on the work of the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative and to further awareness of the need to support the development and use of dengue vaccines. The goal of the DVI is to accelerate the introduction of safe and broadly protective vaccines into the national immunization programs of endemic and developing countries.

DVI works with scientists, vaccine experts and policy makers from concept to implementation, promoting the development of dengue vaccines while also advocating with governments worldwide to ensure the swift adoption and distribution of a vaccine to those most in need.

Currently, there is no specific treatment available for dengue fever, which is a threat to nearly half of the world's population and a public health priority in many countries of Latin America and Asia where epidemics occur.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever, a leading cause of hospitalization in endemic countries

Of the estimated 220 million people infected annually, two million (mostly children) develop dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), a severe form of the disease. DHF is a leading cause of hospitalization, placing tremendous pressure on strained medical resources and having a heavy economic and societal impact.

"With a dengue vaccine on the short term horizon, this collaboration will focus on accelerating its adoption and introduction and on making it accessible to those at highest risk of dengue", said Dr. Ragnar Norrby, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of International Vaccine Institute (IVI).

Putting dengue at the center of global health concerns

The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced the launch of the DVI on 10th February 2011, in collaboration with the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the Johns Hopkins University, and the World Health Organization, to support development of vaccines to control dengue fever.

"The fight against dengue requires a strong global commitment from all public health partners. The first dengue vaccine is now in the final stages of development. The IVI will be a key player in facilitating discussions among policy makers, with the objective of ensuring that once licensed the vaccine will be made available to those populations that need it most in a timely manner", stated Olivier Charmeil, Senior Vice President, sanofi-aventis, Vaccines.

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Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. The Group is listed on stock exchanges in Paris and New York.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, provided more than 1.6 billion doses of vaccine in 2009, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases.

The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development.