Dengue vaccine trials of Japan’s Takeda show protection against virus among children

ECONOMYNEXT- Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) on Wednesday said its trials on the dengue vaccine candidate (TAK-003), including in Sri Lanka, have shown protection against the dengue virus among children.

“According to the World Health Organization, dengue represents one of the ten biggest global health threats, and it is critical that we have access to a safe and effective vaccine candidate that can reduce the devastating impact dengue fever has in endemic regions,” International Vaccine Institute Senior Advisor In-Kyu Yoon said in a Takeda statement.

“Historically, vaccine development against dengue has been challenging, especially for people who haven’t previously been exposed to dengue, and these results demonstrate protection from dengue fever, including among many participants without prior dengue,” he said.

The vaccine efficacy was 80.2 percent in the 12-month period after receiving the second dose, which was administered three months after the first, Takeda said. Between the doses, the vaccine efficacy was 81 percent.

The study showed a 95 percent fall in hospitalization rates for dengue. The vaccine is effective against all four dengue types spread by the Aedes aegypti, and to a lesser extent, the Aedes albopictus mosquitos.

Takeda’s Tetravalent Immunization against Dengue Efficacy Study was conducted among children between the ages 4-16 in eight countries in Latin America and Asia, including Sri Lanka.

Results of the study were published on the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dengue is a leading cause of illness and death among children in the countries where the study is being conducted.

The vaccine is well tolerated with no important safety risks observed to date and the trial will continue for four and a half years to observe the safety of the vaccine and efficacy, the statement said.

An 18-month follow-up on the second dose will be presented later this year, Takeda said.

Dengue is the world’s fastest growing mosquito-borne virus, with nearly half the world’s population under threat. The virus causes 390 million infections and 20,000 deaths annually across the globe, across all ages.