The pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur will conduct the tests.
MERIDA — The pharmaceutical company that developed the dengue vaccine now is working on a similar fight against zika. According to Milenio Novedades, the testing phase in humans will start at the beginning of next year. Yucatan is one of the states chosen for these tests.
“Unlike the dengue vaccine, which was developed from live attenuated viruses, the biologic base to combat zika is made from deactivated virus, which will allow its use in pregnant women, a group that will be included in the clinical trials,” explained Enrique Rivas Merelles, regional director of Research and Development for Latin America at Sanofi Pasteur.
The pediatrician explained that in Yucatán, tests were carried out on dengue vaccine in children under five years old, and it was applied together with another vaccine and the results were satisfactory. This study would allow health authorities to design a policy that includes these children in the range of vaccination, but currently the vaccine is only indicated for people from 9 to 45 years old.
Rivas said that the zika virus has been given special attention because of the impact it may have on public health because of its relation to development of microcephaly in unborn children, ensuring that the development of the vaccine against this disease will take less time than it took for the dengue fever vaccine.
“Dengue is a very complex disease, since there are four serotypes of the virus and that is why the development of the vaccine lasted more than 20 years. The zika cases are not as many as those of dengue, so it is always easier to study a more extended disease, however, in the case of zika due to its relevance, especially in the topic of microcephaly and the experience we have in other vaccines, we believe it will be available in a shorter time,” he concluded.
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