Countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) are now holding simultaneous events to highlight the importance of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in combating dengue in the region.
It is estimated that 2.5 billion people are at risk of dengue globally, of whom 1.8 billion people live in Asia.
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, is supporting the upcoming fourth annual Asean Dengue Day, in cooperation with Asean health stakeholders.
Sanofi Pasteur is working with government, academic and medical stakeholders to hold a series of high-profile public events staged throughout the region to raise awareness on dengue, and the importance of PPPs in combating the disease.
The company is working with government and medical stakeholders to provide scientific knowledge about dengue’s epidemiology and economic impact across the Asean region, and is continuing its efforts to develop the world’s first dengue vaccine to protect against transmission of the disease.
“Sanofi Pasteur has supported the Asean Dengue Day initiative since its official launch on June 15, 2011. This year we are proud to continue our role of supporting official national and local initiatives across the region and to announce positive milestones in our development of a vaccine to help protect against this devastating disease,” says Dr Joselito Sta. Ana, senior director at Sanofi Pasteur Asia Pacific. “Asean Dengue Day is an important initiative that raises awareness and understanding of how public, private and community actions are needed to prevent transmission of this disease, which is hyperendemic in Southeast Asia.”
Sanofi Pasteur has been engaged in dengue-vaccine research for almost 20 years and is committed to helping reduce the public health, economic and societal impact of dengue, particularly as the incidence of dengue fever in Southeast Asia remains high.
In April Sanofi Pasteur announced that the first of two pivotal Phase 3 efficacy studies with the company’s dengue vaccine candidate has achieved its primary clinical endpoint.
The efficacy study showed a significant reduction of 56 percent of dengue disease cases. Initial safety data are consistent with the good safety profile observed in previous studies. Full analysis of the data is currently being undertaken and will be reviewed by external experts prior to disclosure at an upcoming international scientific congress and publication in a peer-reviewed journal later this year.
“Dengue poses a serious health problem in Asia, representing 75 percent of the global burden,” says Dr Ferdinal Fernando, assistant director and head of the Health and Communicable Diseases Division of the Asean Secretariat. “Since its official launch on June 15, 2011 by lead country Indonesia under the Asean Expert Group on Communicable Diseases, Asean Dengue Day has become one of the critical regional advocacy efforts that provides a common platform for cooperation and exchange to promote dengue prevention and raise awareness. Sanofi Pasteur’s support of the Asean Dengue Day is a good example to showcase partnership among public and private stakeholders in the fight against dengue.”
During this year’s Asean Dengue Day celebrations, national and local governments will be holding a series of public-awareness events, including the symbolic Walks against Dengue held in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as drawing contests in Thailand, a community Run against Dengue in Vietnam and a Breakfast Carnival in Singapore.
The Philippines is also hosting this year’s official Asean regional events to be held in Angeles City outside Manila from June 14 to 15.
Recognising the immense human, social and economic impact of dengue disease in the region and the need for systemised action, the Asean Secretariat initiated in 2011 an annual advocacy campaign day for dengue prevention and control.
Held every June 15 concurrently in all 10 member-countries, Asean Dengue Day provides a common platform for cooperation and exchange among all stakeholders on raising dengue prevention and awareness.
Sanofi Pasteur has been working on a dengue vaccine for more than 20 years. The company’s goal is to provide a safe and effective dengue vaccine accessible in all regions of the world where dengue is a public-health issue.
Over 40,000 volunteers are participating in the Sanofi Pasteur dengue vaccine clinical study programme (Phase 1, 2 and 3). Sanofi Pasteur’s dengue vaccine candidate is in Phase 3 clinical studies. It is the most clinically and industrially advanced vaccine candidate in development and the first dengue vaccine in advance development.
The two pivotal Phase 3 efficacy studies involve more than 31,000 volunteers from Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) and Latin America (Brazil, Columbia, Honduras, Mexico and Puerto Rico). The Phase 3 evaluations provide pivotal data on efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate in a broad population and different epidemiological environments and assess the potential impact of the vaccine on the disease burden.
Dengue is a threat to nearly half of the world’s population. Currently, there is no specific treatment available for dengue. It is a health priority in many countries of Latin America and Asia, where epidemics occur regularly. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates up to 100 million infections per year, but the overall number of people infected with dengue globally is not fully known.
The WHO has set the goal of estimating the true public-health burden of dengue by 2015.
Dengue is underreported because the disease is often misdiagnosed due to a large spectrum of clinical symptoms from mild non-specific illness to life-threatening complications, and because of the limitations of the surveillance systems.
Each year, 500,000 people, including children, are affected with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), the severe form of the disease. DHF is a leading cause of hospitalisation, placing tremendous pressure on health systems and straining medical resources resulting in significant economic and social impact. Timely access to appropriate health care is critical to reduce the risk of mortality in case of severe dengue. The WHO has set the target to reduce dengue mortality by 50 percent and reduce morbidity by 25 percent by 2020.
Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of health care with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer health care, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris and in New York.
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunise 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 euro 1 million in research and development.