As Dengue Fever Fears Grow, First Prevention Pill Has Promising Trial

26 Oct 2023 • A pill to prevent dengue fever could be on the horizon. An antiviral pill currently under development appeared to protect people against dengue when exposed to a virus that causes the disease, according to early data from the company’s clinical trial presented at the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Annual Meeting in Chicago. The drug works by blocking the action of two viral proteins, thereby preventing the virus from replicating.

  • The trial, conducted in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, involved 10 volunteers who were administered a high dose of the pill (JNJ-1802) five days before being injected with a type of dengue. They continued taking the pill for 21 days afterwards.
  • The participants were monitored over 85 days for signs of dengue infection, including immune responses and detectable virus in the blood, and is claimed to be safe and well-tolerated by all participants.
  • Remarkably, six out of the ten participants showed no detectable dengue virus in their blood after exposure to the pathogen, nor any signs of an immune response to the infection over 85 days of monitoring.
  • All five people in the placebo group showed detectable virus during monitoring.

The early findings support the wider Phase 2 clinical trial of the drug to prevent dengue. The real-world trial will assess the drug’s ability to prevent dengue from the four strains of dengue virus circulating. While the drug is being tested in this trial as a preventative, that it shows antiviral activity against dengue suggests it could potentially function as a treatment for those already infected.

Source: Forbes | Read full story

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