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A new pertussis vaccine in development.

A research team from the Center of Infection and Immunity of Lille with researchers from Inserm, the University of Lille, the CHU de Lille, CNRS, and the Institut Pasteur de Lille, in partnership with the US-based company ILiAD Biotechnologies, is developing a new pertussis vaccine.

In partnership with ILiAD Biotechnologies, a research team from Inserm, Lille University, Lille University Hospital, CNRS, and the Institut Pasteur of Lille, as part By using the live but genetically modified bacteria to suppress its toxicity, the researchers hope to overcome the shortcomings of the current vaccine's effectiveness by inducing a long lasting immune response and blocking bacterial transmission between individuals. New data published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases presents the results of phase 1 clinical trials of this vaccine which demonstrate good tolerability and an effective response in adults.

Inserm research director Camille Locht and his team from the Lille Immunity and Infection Center (Inserm/Lille University/Lille University Hospital/CNRS/Institut Pasteur of Lille) together with ILiAD Biotechnologies, are working on a new whooping cough vaccine that will be more effective than current vaccines. Like first-generation vaccines, the new vaccine, referred to as BPZE1, relies on whole bacteria but in this case the bacteria are still alive. BPZE1 is, in fact, a “live attenuated” vaccine, meaning that it contains a live infectious agent but whose pathogenic potential is genetically attenuated (rather than having been inactivated by heat).

The researchers were encouraged by these results and have begun phase 2 clinical trials in 300 volunteers, sponsored by ILiAD Biotechnologies. “If this vaccine passes all the steps in development, it may be used initially for adults who care for infants, to protect the infants from the possibility of transmission,” Locht specifies. “Use in vulnerable individuals and infants is planned, but this will require additional safety data that it may take a long time to obtain,” he concludes.

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