CHIANGRAI TIMES – French Firm Sanofi, hopes for positive results in September from a key trial among children in Thailand that would set it on course to market a vaccine in 2015 which would prevent an estimated 100 million cases of dengue infection each year.
The Paris-based firm hopes for positive results in September from a key trial among children in Thailand that would set it on course to market a shot in 2015 which would prevent an estimated 100 million cases of dengue infection each year. Of 20,000 annual deaths, many are of children.
For Sanofi, which has invested 350 million Euros in a new French factory to make the three-dose vaccine, it could mean a billion Euros in yearly sales as half the world is exposed to the disease, notably in fast-expanding tropical cities from Rio and Mexico to Manila and Mumbai.
But like British rival GlaxoSmithKline, whose new malaria shot has shown promise against another mosquito-carried scourge, Sanofi is also preparing for pressure to make its drug accessible to billions who are too poor to pay the likely market price.
Setting the price will be a test for Sanofi Chief Executive Chris Viehbacher. He reckons his vaccine is about five years ahead of any others and he knows he has a major opportunity to boost his company’s reputation by getting the roll-out right.
With no specific drugs to treat or prevent dengue – in contrast to malaria – the world needs a success. Likewise, Viehbacher’s shareholders, who have seen the company lose top-selling drugs as patents expire, need a commercial winner.
They will be watching closely those results from Thailand in September.