For Immediate Release
Thompson & Berry Public Relations
Group A Streptococcus Vaccine on Path for Commercialization
with Clinical Testing Agreement
Vaccine for Strep Would have a Major Positive Impact on Childhood Doctor Visits in the US and on the Overuse of Antibiotic Consumption
MEMPHIS, Tennessee, September 22, 2011 – An international collaboration between Vaxent, a Memphis-based early stage vaccine development company in the Memphis Bioworks Foundation Incubator, and The Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise Inc. (PREVENT), a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) in Saskatchewan, has put a vaccine for group A streptococcus (Strep-A) back on the path for potential commercialization. Under the terms of the agreement, PREVENT receives the exclusive worldwide license to progress vaccine candidates through developing vaccine formulations, manufacturing, completing preclinical studies and conducting clinical trials. Both parties will participate in the commercialization process under a cost-sharing and revenue-sharing arrangement.
streptococcus is a significant cause of pharyngitis or “strep throat” in
children, as well as other more serious diseases such as streptococcal toxic
shock syndrome, necrotizing fasciitis (so-called "flesh-eating
disease") and acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. There are
11 million physician office visits for sore throat or suspected strep throat in
vaccine was developed over 25 years of laboratory research by James B. Dale, MD,
Gene H. Stollerman Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of
Infectious Diseases at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in
“The 30-valent vaccine for Strep-A is the most complex genetically engineered vaccine ever developed for clinical trials,” said Dale. “It will cover between 90 and 95 percent of Strep-A found in North America and could have a significant impact on the incidence of strep throat and more serious, invasive infections. In addition, an effective Strep-A vaccine could lead to a significant decrease in the need for antibiotic administration in children, thus reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance of other bacteria.”
Other childhood vaccines, such as Prevnar designed to prevent the most common and serious pneumococcal infections, has had a profound impact on the health of children worldwide. Prevnar is recommended for all children under the age of two. Wordwide sales are predicted to reach $5-6 billion by 2014.
“Vaxent is an excellent example of local
science and technology moving from the research laboratory to local
entrepreneurial incubation and now on to the next step toward the marketplace,”
Over a three year period, it is expected that the agreement will progress through manufacture of the vaccine, to pre-clinical testing, to a phase 1 clinical trial in adult volunteers. Only after success at this stage will an age step-down study be launched to test the vaccine in adolescents and children.
Strep-A diseases are more common in children than adults. Illness ranges from uncomplicated pharyngitis to invasive toxic shock syndrome, necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease), cellulitis, sepsis (blood infection), pneumonia, and subsequent complications such as rheumatic fever and kidney disease. There are 616 million cases of pharyngitis caused by Strep-A worldwide each year. Rheumatic heart disease affects millions of children and adults in the world and may cause over 1 million deaths per year. At least 18.1 million cases of invasive infections occur each year in children and adults. There are at least 517,000 deaths globally each year due to severe Strep-A infections; necrotizing fasciitis kills about 30 percent of patients and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome has a mortality rate of 30 to 70 percent.
Strep-A vaccine development was recently discussed at the Global Vaccine Research Forum of the World Health Organization. Additionally, in 2009 Vaxent was recognized by the World Vaccine Congress as a finalist for the Best Prophylactic Vaccine of the year award. The finalists are selected based on nominations by peer companies and careful review by the World Vaccine Congress selection committee.
Vaxent is an early stage vaccine
development biotechnology company based in
The Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise Inc. (PREVENT), funded by the Networks of Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, is a not-for profit organization incorporated in the Province of Saskatchewan and headquartered at the University of Saskatchewan. PREVENT’S mandate is to accelerate/catalyze the development and commercialization of promising vaccine research from academic, research institutions and life science SME sources to address Canadian public health issues. PREVENT’S internal resources are leveraged through collaborative partnerships involving an extensive network of stakeholders including Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BC-CDC) and Canadian Center for Vaccinology (CCfV).
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This study quantifies the economic impact of the UTHSC on the economy of the state of Tennessee for FY2010.
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