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French pharma giant to market Dengue fever vaccine

Reuters/James Gathany

A vaccine for dengue fever will soon be on the market, according to Sanofi Pasteur which has opened a factory to produce the medicine near the French city of Lyon. The French pharmaceutical company is targeting the 400 million cases it estimates to exist worldwide.

Sanofi has invested 350 million euros and built a factory, which already employs 150 people, in the town of Neuville-sur-Saône, despite the fact that the drug is still under development.

The vaccine is expected to be on the market in 2015, although production for testing should start next January.

  • Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes and 50-100 million cases are recorded every year.
  • More than 100 countries are affected, mostly poorer ones.
  • Half the world’s population lives in areas where dengue fever is a risk.
  • The first significant outbreak in Europe since 1920 affected 1,300 people in Madeira, Portugal, this autumn.
  • Several thousand people die from dengue fever every year in Asian and Latin American countries, according to the World Health Organisation.

British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline is working on a vaccine against malaria, which kills more than 650,000 people every year.