Johnson & Johnson recently announced promising results from a small human trial of their new pill designed to combat dengue fever.
Dengue is a serious disease that currently lacks specific treatments. In this trial, ten volunteers were given a high dose of the J&J pill five days before they were intentionally exposed to the dengue virus.
Encouragingly, six of these participants showed no detectable dengue virus in their blood, and they didn’t display any signs of an immune response to the virus during the 85-day monitoring period.
This antiviral pill marks a significant breakthrough as there have been no specific treatments for dengue until now.
Dengue fever is especially frequent in Asia and Latin America, inflicting thousands and thousands of infections and tens of thousands of deaths each year.
The subsequent step will contain testing the tablet as a treatment. The tablet works by way of blocking off the motion of two viral proteins, which prevents the virus from replicating itself.
Ensuring entry to this new drug, assuming it proves powerful on a bigger scale, is an important problem, particularly in low- and center-earnings nations in which dengue is prevalent.
This situation is reminiscent of the challenges faced by the dengue vaccine recently endorsed by the World Health Organization. Johnson & Johnson is actively working on addressing this issue, though it’s still in the early stages.
Given the threat of dengue spreading further due to climate change, the development of effective treatments is of paramount importance.