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Monday October 24, 2005

Anti-dengue vaccine only by 2012


KUALA LUMPUR: The first antidote for dengue, the killer disease with no known cure, will only probably be produced by 2012, though many pharmaceutical companies are actively seeking methods of prevention and cure. 

University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) Medical Microbiology head of department Prof Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar said that, so far, only one company was showing signs that it might be able to produce an anti-dengue vaccine by 2012. 

“Many companies are racing to produce a vaccine, but they can't say when it will be available in the market,” he told reporters at a seminar on dengue at UMMC here yesterday. 

He said the vaccine, even if it was successfully produced, would have to be clinically tested before it could be marketed. 

“A lot of anti-dengue medicines underwent clinical tests in Western countries where there are fewer dengue cases.  

“For dengue cure in endemic countries such as Malaysia and Thailand, detailed studies should be carried out in these countries to determine if the medicines are effective,” he said. 

Dr Sazaly said that there were now seven or eight antibiotics that could help reduce infection but more detailed studies were still needed to ascertain their effectiveness. 

He said medication used in Thailand might not work for patients in Malaysia because of mutation in different strains of virus. – Bernama  

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