SCINQ Asia: Takeda’s new Dengue vaccine is as flawed as Sanofi’s

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Takeda pharmaceuticals has reported on its version of the elusive dengue vaccine. Phase III trials have painted an uneven picture of the drug. According to the Japan Times, “Takeda’s vaccine was 80.2 percent effective at preventing dengue among children and teens in the year after they got the shot, according to results of a Phase III study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.” However, most of the vaccine’s effectiveness was with type 1 and 2. It proved almost ineffective against type 3 and 4 dengue infections. Adding to the uncertainty was the fact that like Sanofi’s vaccine, Dengvaxia, it often increased the possibility of severe dengue fever in patients without prior exposure. Dengvaxia offered only 59% efficacy.

The Philippines continues to struggle with a spike in dengue cases this year. As a result, the government has played with the idea of bringing the much-maligned Dengvaxia vaccine back into the country. The final decision will lie with President Rodrigo Duterte, not with the Philippines Department of Health. Desperate times, desperate measures.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Hong Kong and shows no signs of abating. Instead, rates are increasing each year. Among women, breast cancer is the most prevalent. Among men, colorectal and lung cancer runs neck-and-neck.

India is on the cusp of becoming a major force in science. Startups are popping up at a curious clip. Leading the charge is Biocon, one of India’s largest biotechnology firms. Asian Scientist magazine interviewed Kiran Mazumdar, the company’s founder, about the Biocon and the biotech sector in South Asia.

When it comes to finding sources of information across the internet, things aren’t always as easy as it seems. Search engine results may spew hundreds of suggestions. Unfortunately, that only trades one cup of muddy water for another cup of equally muddy water. Sometimes, a human touch is still needed in this age of algorithms. When it comes to finding science blogs, Feedspot’s curated listing is an invaluable time saver.

IMAGE CREDIT: Creative Commons

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