A pill targeted at the dengue virus has successfully treated and prevented infection in mice and monkeys.
Dengue fever, is a viral infection spread by mosquitos which causes around 10,000 human deaths and 96 million infections a year. There are currently no therapeutics to treat the disease, but its global health threat is set to increase.
An experimental antiviral pill, developed by the pharmaceutical company and EARA member Janssen, Belgium, has shown promising results in a recent study, which also included EARA members KU Leuven, also Belgium, and the Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Netherlands.
In the study, the pill protected mice against all four types of the dengue virus and prevented infection by two types of the virus in monkeys. The drug has also been shown to be safe in current clincal trials.
Marnix Van Loock, at Janssen, said: “The promising results.. offer the hope that science will be able to deliver against this threat, as more and more communities are impacted worldwide.”
An earlier stage of the research was also featured in the EARA News Digest in 2021.