GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) have formed a partnership to develop cures for dangerous diseases, including the development of a vaccine for dengue fever.

The agreement will establish a new research and development collaboration programme at Fiocruz to develop a vaccine for the mosquito-borne disease.

GSK will also provide Fiocruz with access to the technology behind its ten-valent conjugate vaccine for paediatric pneumococcal disease, Synflorix, which will then be incorporated into the Brazilian government’s national immunisation programme.

GSK president of emerging markets Abbas Hussain said that Brazil has excellent vaccine research facilities.

“Together we will be able to develop and make available new vaccines to benefit public health in Brazil,” Hussain said.

The ten-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine Synflorix protects against life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis and bacteremia, and was approved by Brazilian regulatory authorities in 2009.

The vaccine also protects against otitis media (middle ear infection), one of the most frequently contracted childhood diseases in Brasil.

The alliance will foster the cross-fertilisation of ideas and technology, with scientists from GSK and Fiocruz working across facilities in Brazil and Belgium, where GSK’s vaccines division is headquartered.