Wellcome Trust grant will help firm get vaccine against S. typhi and S. parathyphi A into the clinic by end of 2010.

The Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health (NVGH) was awarded a €5.15 million grant by the U.K.’s Wellcome Trust biomedical charity for development of a bivalent typhoid vaccine.

The Wellcome Trust grant will fund preclinical development as well as Phase I and II trials. The organization will also provide expert advice, project support, and strategic oversight. 

Based on a prototype conjugate vaccine developed by the NIH, the new NVGH vaccine will be designed to protect against both S. typhi and S. paratyphi A in adults as well as even in infants. Clinical trials are expected to start by the end of 2010. 
There is currently no vaccine against S. paratyphi A, and available vaccines against S. typhi are not licensed for use in infants and young children. “The bivalent vaccine being developed by NVGH will use a novel approach to increase efficacy and address the needs of patients that other vaccines have not,” comments Daniel Vasella, Novartis chairman and CEO. “This will ultimately have the potential to eradicate this disease.”

Currently available typhoid vaccines include Typhim Vi® (Sanofi Pasteur) and Typherix® (GlaxoSmithKline), both injectable vaccines based on the S. typhi Vi polysaccharide. Vivotif® (Crucell/Berna Biotech) is an oral vaccine containing live-attenuated strain Ty21a.

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