Asia's largest vaccinemaker just made a play that could affect the race for a vaccine protecting against dengue fever, a common affliction that has a big impact in the region.
The Serum Institute of India announced on Tuesday that it's seeking fast-track approval to launch a dengue treatment in India for which it purchased local rights from U.S. biotech Visterra earlier this month. If successful, the company could be the first globally to launch a drug for the mosquito-borne illness, Reuters reports--a development with potential implications in the ongoing dengue vaccine race between Sanofi, Takeda, and others.
Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla told the news service his company will seek approval in a year to a year and a half versus the three to four years typically required for vaccines. However, Sanofi, which has spent 20 years and $1.5 billion developing its vaccine, plans to launch yet this year in the region: Its vaccines head, Olivier Charmeil, said the company will have filed for approval in 20 countries--representing approximately half of the world's population at risk of dengue--by the end of this year.
Serum's play comes amid the worst dengue outbreak in 5 years in India's capital, New Delhi, which has caused high death rates and showcased the area's inadequate measures against the disease.
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