Singapore-based Duke-NUS Medical School and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) jointly launched today a new J&J Satellite Center for Global Health Discovery that will drive new solutions to mitigate the threat posed by flaviviruses such as dengue and Zika.
The Satellite Center at Duke-NUS is the first of the J&J Centers for Global Health Discovery to open in the Asia-Pacific region.
Flaviviruses, like dengue and Zika, cause significant illness and death, yet no specific antiviral therapeutics are currently available.
Flaviviruses infect more than 400 million people each year, putting half of the global population at risk.
In particular, Asia bears nearly three-quarters of the global burden.
As Earth evolves, billions of people could be impacted in the coming decades as the animal vectors that carry flaviviruses venture beyond the tropical regions where they have traditionally thrived, spreading the diseases to new areas.
"The establishment of the Satellite Center at Duke-NUS builds upon our strong track record in flavivirus research and bench-to-bedside innovations and will facilitate antiviral drug discovery for the prevention and treatment of flavivirus-associated diseases that are affecting communities in Southeast Asia and beyond."
"The collaboration is both timely and purposeful in realizing the School's vision of transforming medicine and improving lives," said Professor Patrick Casey, Senior Vice-Dean for Research at Duke-NUS, in a press statement issued on June 21, 2022.
Most recently, the School played a critical role in driving progress to tackle dengue by working with SingHealth’s Investigational Medicine Unit to conduct a Phase 2a clinical trial evaluating Janssen’s antiviral compound for the prevention and treatment of dengue.
As of June 21, 2022, the U.S. FDA had not authorized Zika prevention vaccines.
Zika vaccine development news is posted at ZikaNews.com/Vaccines.
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