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Merck and Brazil's Instituto Butantan Team to Develop at Least Two Dengue Vaccines

December 13, 2018 / Mark Terry

Merck & Company inked a research collaboration deal with Instituto Butantan, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to develop vaccines against dengue virus disease. Dengue fever infects as many as 400 million people annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is the leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. The virus is transmitted by mosquitos. The most common symptoms are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding from the nose or gums. At its worse, the disease can lead to failure of the circulatory system and shock, followed by death. Merck and Instituto Butantan have licensed specific rights from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), related to the development of live attenuated tetravalent vaccines (LATV).
The Instituto Butantan also has a dengue vaccine candidate, T...