CARB-X says it is awarding up to $2 million to the Jenner Institute, part of the University of Oxford, U.K., to develop a novel vaccine to prevent gonorrhea. Under the award, which supports optimization and scaleup, followed by production of the vaccine in the university’s clinical biomanufacturing facility, the Institute would be eligible for up to $5.3 million more if the project progresses through certain project milestones, subject to available funding.

Their findings to date suggest the vaccine would prevent infections from different strains of gonococcal bacteria, including the most powerful multidrug-resistant strains that are spreading globally at an alarming pace, according to Erin Duffy, PhD, chief of research and development at CARB-X, a global non-profit partnership led by Boston University.

“Because of antibiotic resistance, treating gonorrhea is challenging and in some cases not possible because of a lack of antibiotics that are effective,” notes Duffy. “Vaccines are powerful tools in the prevention of bacterial infections. Jenner’s vaccine project is an exciting approach which, if successful, could prevent the disease, and significantly curb the spread of resistant bacteria across the globe.”

“The Jenner Institute at Oxford University is delighted to be partnering with CARB-X in the development of a new vaccine against gonorrhea, which will be an important weapon in the battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” adds Adrian Hill, PhD, director of the  Jenner Institute, which led the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Jenner’s gonorrhea vaccine, dmGC_0817560 NOMV, consists of blebs (fluid-filled blisters) from the outer surface of gonococcus. The project is currently in lead optimization and researchers aim to produce an affordable vaccine for global use.

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