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Pharma Companies Partner on Dengue Drugs

Dengue virus - nonstructural proteins (Wikimedia Commons)

Dengue virus - nonstructural proteins (Wikimedia Commons)

Medivir AB, a specialty pharmaceutical company in Huddinge, Sweden, will collaborate with Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. in Beerse, Belgium on drugs for the prevention and treatment of dengue virus infection. Both companies plan to use their expertise in protease inhibitors for this partnership.

According to the World Health Organization, dengue is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease of humans. Some 2.5 billion people worldwide live in areas where dengue viruses can be transmitted. The geographical spread of both the mosquito vectors and the viruses has led in the past 25 years to the global resurgence of epidemic dengue fever and emergence of dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Medivir and Janssen will apply their respective expertise to co-develop drugs based on inhibiting activity of the dengue NS3 protease. The dengue NS3 protease is considered an attractive target for new drugs against dengue infection, because of the role that the NS3 protease plays in viral replication. Drugs that inhibit the NS3 protease offer the prospect of preventing the disease in endemic areas, as well as a potential therapy to treat viral infections already occuring.

The agreement covers discovery, clinical development, and commercialization of any drugs developed as part of the collaboration. Both parties will contribute equal resources to the research, while Medivir has an option to contribute equal funding later in the non-clinical and clinical development stages.

Also under the agreement, if both parties remain in the collaboration until product approval, Janssen will be responsible for commercialization. Medivir will receive pre-agreed royalties on net sales of future products that reflect its contribution to the development of products.

Read More: Dengue Fever Vaccine Promotion Initiative Unveiled

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