J&J dengue pill shows promise in trial

For the first time, an experimental antiviral for dengue virus showed efficacy in humans, Johnson & Johnson said Oct. 20. 

For 26 days, study participants throughout 10 countries either received J&J's drug candidate, JNJ-1802, or placebo doses daily. The phase 2 study found the therapy, which is designed to target circulating dengue serotypes, reduced antiviral activity and was safe and effective, according to a news release. 

About 4 billion people worldwide live in areas at risk for dengue, according to the CDC. There's a dengue vaccine available, but no antivirals for the virus are approved. J&J did not disclose when it might submit its experimental drug for regulatory approval.

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