May 19, 2011, 9:24 a.m.
16 May 2011
LYON, May 13 (Reuters) - France's Sanofi-Pasteur said on Friday it hoped to launch a vaccine for dengue fever from 2014 in certain priority countries and could produce some 100 million doses a year.
"It's a considerable amount: by comparison we produce around 200 million doses of flu vaccine each year," said Olivier Charmeil, the CEO of the world's biggest vaccine maker. "We have been working on this for 15 years."
There is currently no cure or vaccine for dengue fever but Sanofi has the most clinically advanced vaccine candidate, which entered Phase III clinical testing in Australia in November.
The mosquito-borne disease is a threat to nearly half of the world's population. Of the estimated 220 million people infected each year, two million -- mostly children in Latin America and Asia -- develop a severe form called dengue hemorrhagic fever.
The French drugmaker has said in the past that a vaccine against dengue fever could potentially generate sales of more than $1 billion a year. (Reporting by Caroline Girardon; Editing by Gary Hill)