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Janssen Pharmaceuticals' New Early-Stage Compound Shows Promise Against Dengue

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, wholly-owned by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Wednesday announced that an early-stage compound with a novel mechanism of action showed that it could potentially treat all serotypes of dengue fever.

The company , in collaboration with the KU Leuven Rega Institute and the KU Leuven Centre for Drug Design and Discovery, said that the early-stage compound could potentially treat all serotypes of dengue fever and provide a period of protection against acquiring the dengue virus. Janssen is now moving its dengue program into clinical development.

Data from the early-stage study suggest that an antiviral compound prevents the interaction between two viral proteins (NS3 and NS4B) that play an important role in the replication process of a virus, thereby stopping the ability of the virus to reproduce.

"This scientific breakthrough shows tremendous potential to treat and prevent all four dengue serotypes and help transform the world's fight against this significant and growing public health threat," said Paul Stoffels, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. "We are hopeful that this early-stage science can ultimately translate into a meaningful difference for at risk communities. We look forward to working with our collaborators to accelerate clinical development."

The WHO had listed dengue as one of the top ten threats in 2019, as it infects up to 400 million people, sickens up to 100 million and kills thousands each year.

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