Sanofi Pasteur is hoping that its Phase III vaccine for the prevention of dengue fever in children and adults could hit the market by 2014, according to a Reuters report. There are currently no approved cures or preventative vaccines for the disease, which is spread by mosquitoes. About 220 million people are infected each year and the disease can be fatal if it progress into the more serious hemorrhagic stage. The vaccine is based on Sanofi's ChimeriVax technology. ChimeriVax is a live, attenuated recombinant virus constructed from yellow fever in which certain genes are replaced with that of another flavivirus. The technology has also been applied to Japanese encephalitis and West Nile virus.
The vaccine maker plans to provide up to 100 million doses of the vaccine and has already begun construction on a manufacturing plant in France. "It's a considerable amount: by comparison we produce around 200 million doses of flu vaccine each year," CEO Olivier Charmeil told the news outlet. "We have been working on this for 15 years." Sanofi has said in the past that a viable dengue vaccine could generate $1 billion in annual sales.