13.09.2012 - Sanofi-Pasteur has suffered a setback with its dengue fever vaccine. It proved to be far less effective than originally hoped. But this is not the end of the story.
Results from a Phase IIb study conducted in Thailand revealed the vaccine had about 30% overall efficacy against dengue fever type 2. Originally, the French pharma hoped to achieve more than 70% efficacy. The compound did show strong results against types 1, 3 and 4 of the mosquito-borne disease. However patients with a type 2 infection, the most prevalent strain in Thailand at the time of the study, did not show a satisfactory response. The vaccine candidate is meant to protect against all four types viruses that cause dengue. The result leaves uncertainty on the future of a product that Sanofi estimates it could generate more than €1bn in annual sales. Sanofi has invested €350m in a site to manufacture the vaccine. Still, the vaccine shows promise and Phase III studies involving more than 31,000 children and adults are under way in 10 countries across Asia and Latin America.
Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease, also known as "breakbone fever", is a threat to nearly 3 billion people in tropical regions. "This result knocked me off my chair," Scott Halstead, a senior scientific adviser for the non-profit Dengue Vaccine Initiative, who was not involved in the study, told Reuters. Sanofi had already published topline data in July saying that the study had shown efficacy against three of the four strains. However, the company did not present any details. The full findings were published online in the The Lancet. If the Thai trial results had been as strong as expected, Sanofi could have filed for early approval in some countries. Instead, Sanofi now has to wait for the phase III results. A commercial launch can now happen in 2015 or later.
27.04.2016 More revenue, more jobs, more financing, more R&D expenditure – all signs point towards sustainable growth in the German biotech sector. These are the results of the most recent company survey 2016, published by biotechnologie.de. The report was once again conducted alongside the biotech standards defined by the organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD).
21.04.2016 An expert panel’s final report on the fatal drug trial earlier this year in France states that the death of one of the participants was most likely caused by the drug’s toxicity and not by any violation of the rules.
21.04.2016 For up to US$685m (€606m), Dutch ArgenX has outlicensed its human antibody programme ARGX-115 to AbbVie. The pre-clinical immuno-oncology candidate targets a protein believed to contribute to immunosuppressive effects of T-cells.
19.04.2016 British drug developer Heptares Therapeutics and mAb maker Kymab Ltd have partnered up in yet another immuno-oncology collaboration. The companies plan to discover antibody meds targeting a superfamily of receptors.
15.04.2016 Not every company is put off by the current stock market climate. Swiss biopharma company GeNeuro has gone public at Euronext Paris, raising €33m in the process. Others, meanwhile, have to find different ways to raise money.
13.04.2016 Despite political disturbances, 2015 was a good year for the biotech scene in Switzerland. Net sales increased by 5.1% to CHF5,133m and 400 additional people found jobs in the sector. As usual, the new numbers were presented at the annual Swiss Biotech Day – which set new records as well.
12.04.2016 German-Dutch life science investment specialist Forbion Capital Partners has raised more than €180m for its venture capital fund Forbion Capital Fund III. Once more the money will primarily go to European start-ups.
08.04.2016 Do you win by being innovative?, was the question asked at this year’s DIA Euromeeting in Hamburg. In a relaxed and cooperative atmosphere, regulators, physicians and patients had ample opportunity to interact with the healthcare industry.
07.04.2016 Pfizer and Allergan have called off their merger, cancelling plans to relocate the US pharma giant to Ireland to avoid US taxation. The US government has put a spoke in Pfizer’s wheels - an unfair move, Allergan says.