Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY), announced today that IMOJEV® vaccine against Japanese encephalitis (JE) is now available in Australia. IMOJEV® is the first single dose vaccine against JE for adults in Australia. For children, one dose of IMOJEV is recommended for primary immunization; the addition of a booster dose to extend the duration of protection is being assessed by Australian Health Authorities. IMOJEV® vaccine is licensed in Australia for people from 12 months of age and older.
About 3 billion people in the Asia Pacific Region are at risk of JE for which there is no specific treatment. In 1995 the first outbreak in Australia was identified in the islands of the Torres Strait. More recently outbreaks have also occurred in Northern Queensland. JE is the leading cause of childhood viral neurological infection and disability in Asia. JE is also a potential risk for travellers to endemic areas. Over 1.5 million Australians travel to JE endemic countries of the Asia Pacific region.
"IMOJEV® has shown to provide seroprotection to over 90% adults just 2 weeks after vaccination with one dose which provides strong motive to be vaccinated before traveling," said Joseph Torresi MD, Head of Travel Medicine at the Austin Hospital. "There is no specific treatment for JE and vaccination is the most effective way to be protected."
The Australian health authorities granted marketing authorization to IMOJEV® vaccine based on the review of clinical studies involving over 4,000 children and adults which demonstrated the safety of IMOJEV® vaccine and its ability to generate a protective immune response with one dose.
"IMOJEV® is an innovative vaccine that confers high-level protection against Japanese encephalitis with just one dose," said Russell Jacobson, General Manager of Sanofi Pasteur in Australia. "IMOJEV® makes scheduling a trip in the Asia Pacific region, or other endemic areas, more convenient for business travellers, tourists and the military alike."