VACCINE AGAINST SHIGELLOSIS
AGREEMENT BETWEEN HENOGEN AND THE INSTITUT PASTEUR
The Institut Pasteur of Paris (France) and the biotech company Henogen (Belgium) announce their cooperation in the field of vaccination against Shigellosis, one of the deadliest diarrheic diseases in the world. Shigellosis kills every year between 600 000 and one million children in tropical regions. No wonder then that WHO gave a top priority for the development of a vaccine against diarrheic diseases.
The new vaccine contains attenuated Shigella bacteria, innocuous but appropriate for the mounting of an efficient immune response in vaccinated individuals. The vaccinal Shigella bacterial strain, which results from inactivation of virulence genes, has been engineered in the research group headed by Dr. Philippe Sansonetti (a joint collaboration between Pasteur's Microbial Molecular Pathogeny Unit and INSERM U 389 research unit).
Initial clinical trials, made by the US Army in 1999, demonstrated the efficiency of the vaccine in adult volunteers. Data of a phase I clinical trial, performed in Bangladesh (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, ICDDR, B of Dacca and WHO), have shown that the vaccine was well tolerated and immunogenic, as well in children than in adults. Infants, in particular, are most prone to infection and will be the principal beneficiaries of the new vaccine.
On the long run, the protection conferred by the vaccine should be extended to the different strains of Shigella bacteria. Shigellosis, transmitted by the oro-faecal route, results from infection by three species of bacteria: Shigella sonnei and Shigella flexneri, generally responsible for the endemic form of the disease, and Shigella dysenteriae, the causal agent of brutal epidemics. All these bacteria are extremely infectious since 10 to 100 bacilli are sufficient to induce the disease. To the contrary of other diarrheic diseases, Shigellosis cannot be treated by simple rehydration. Indeed, Shigella target the colon mucosa and induce an inflammatory response, which results in the destruction of the infection site and provokes complications in other parts of the body. Antibiotics generally cure the disease, quickly and without sequels but this treatment is often impeded by the emergence of resistant strains and by the excessive cost in the concerned countries.
is a biotech spin-off company of the University of Brussels. Located in
Charleroi, Henogen owns GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) facilities and is
agreed by the General Inspection of Pharmacy (Belgium) for the manufacture of
Institut Pasteur of Paris (France) is a non-profit private foundation dedicated
to the presentation and treatment of infectious diseases through scientific
and medical research, education and public health activities. Its main campus,
in Paris, houses 130 research units and laboratories, with a total of 2500 people.
- Professor Alex Bollen, CEO
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- Professor Philippe Sansonetti, Head of Microbial Molecular Pathogeny Unit
Tel: +33/1/45 68 83 42 - Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
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