Meningitis Research Foundation funding leads to new GBS vaccine
29 January 2014
Research funded by MRF between 2002 and 2005 has led to the development of a new vaccine against GBS (Group B streptococcal) infection.
GBS is the leading bacterial cause of meningitis in infants and very young babies. Many of these babies are too young to be vaccinated and so GBS vaccine development has focused on vaccinating mothers in the late stages of pregnancy in order to transfer protection to babies before they are born.
The vaccine is made up of two GBS bacterial surface proteins combined into one ‘fusion protein’. Initial research has shown that this fusion protein can induce a highly protective immune response and can neutralise up to 95% of GBs bacteria that cause infection.
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden were funded by MRF to develop the initial fusion protein behind the vaccine and perform some of the first initial tests. The Danish company who have now taken on the development of the vaccine, called Minervax, have recently announced that they have secured the next stage of funding in order to progress the vaccine into clinical trials in 2015. Dr Gunnar Lindahl, the lead researcher on the project said “The support we obtained from the MRF was invaluable for our ability to pursue the GBS project, which eventually resulted in the establishment of Minervax”. More about GBSMore about the original MRF funded projectMore about Minervax