60 Degrees Pharmaceuticals, (60P), a company focused on development of therapeutics for tropical diseases, and Singapore General Hospital (SGH) announced today that the Hospital has received a grant from Singapore's National Medical Research Council to support a Phase II clinical trial among dengue fever patients.
Dengue fever, a painful, debilitating and potentially deadly mosquito-borne viral disease, infects an estimated 400 million people worldwide each year, causing 500,000 hospitalizations and creating a $12 billion annual burden. Instances of dengue, which cause flu-like symptoms and can develop into lethal severe dengue, have increased 30 fold over the past few decades.
Once believed to be only a "tropical" disease, there have been outbreaks in southern U.S. including Florida, as well as in France, Portugal and other European countries, which experts believe may expand in North America and Europe. In addition, scientists have discovered a type of dengue-carrying mosquito which can live in colder climates, meaning cases of dengue observed in the U.S. and Europe may increase substantially.
There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or antiviral drugs for dengue virus infection and treatment has been limited to supportive and symptomatic treatment.
60P and SGH will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an antiviral, Celgosivir, and a disease- modifying agent, Modipafant, in the treatment of dengue. Earlier animal studies suggest these drugs could prove effective in dengue fever patients. SGH and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School previously evaluated the efficacy of Celgosivir in dengue patients, establishing its safety.
60P and SGH have received approval from the relevant authority in Singapore and Institutional Review Board for the study, which is scheduled to start March 2016.
SOURCE 60 Degrees Pharmaceuticals