National

Eijkman Institute, Sanofi
Pasteur to operate joint
dengue lab

The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology along with its private partner, Sanofi Pasteur, are set to operate a joint dengue research laboratory to improve dengue prevention in Indonesia.

The institute’s deputy chairwoman Herawati Sudoyo said Tuesday that the lab would develop intensive dengue researches. “Under this partnership, we may expand our expertise in conducting research on dengue and other diseases as well,” she said prior to the official launch of the lab on Wednesday.

Dengue remains a major public health concern in the world, particularly in Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia. Despite all efforts to curb the disease, Indonesia still has a high prevalence of dengue incidents.

“We want to contribute more to the development of health care services that are needed to tackle dengue problems in Indonesia,” said the Sanofi Pasteur’s vice president vaccines Asia Pacific and Japan Jean-Louis Grunwald.

The Sanofi Pasteur is one of world leading pharmaceutical companies currently working on a vaccine to control dengue.

“We are not ready to enter the market yet but our research on a dengue vaccine is already at phase 3, the most advanced stage of vaccine development,” Sanofi Pasteur’s head for medical affairs and clinical research and development vaccines Alain Bouckenooghe said.

A vaccine is considered to be one of the most effective methods to control dengue but until now, none have been developed.

“In that sense, we want to partner with the Indonesian government. We have visited various places across Southeast Asia, which suffer from a high rate of dengue incidents, to see which governments and countries are interested in the development of such vaccine. Indonesia was very early in expressing its strong interest in the vaccine,” said Bouckenooghe.

Under the partnership, the Sanofi Pasteur will provide the Eijkman Institute with additional research equipment. Bouckenooghe said the Sanofi Pasteur would also train the Eijkman’s researchers so they could have hands-on experience in the execution of different research methods.

“We will also link the partnership and the vaccine study the institute has conducted to handle all the samples of genotypes that have been generated in Indonesia for our research on dengue vaccine,” he said. (lfr)

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