Trial reveals promising data in the fight against meningitis B
13 September 2010
Meningitis Research Foundation today welcomed promising news that Novartis Vaccine’s Meningitis B vaccine candidate could potentially provide broad coverage against a deadly strain of meningitis – meningococcal B – for which there is currently no vaccine.
Novartis Vaccines revealed new data at a conference in Banff, Canada showing that a large majority of infants vaccinated with the trial candidate had responded well, giving the first signs that a broad–coverage vaccine is possible. The study involved 3,600 infants from five European countries.
Meningococcal B is the most prevalent strain of meningitis in the UK, but, due to the complex nature of the bacteria which has several different strains, a broad coverage vaccine has so far been difficult to develop.
“A vaccine against Meningitis B would be a tremendous achievement in the UK,” said MRF’s Chief Executive Chris Head. “These are indeed promising results against three strains of meningococcal B bacteria and we wait to hear how it responds against other strains of the disease.”
Meningitis B is responsible for around 1,200 cases across the UK each year, mostly in young children. Of these cases around 6% will result in deaths, whilst 10% of survivors will be left with moderate or serious after-effects, such as limb amputations, deafness and/or blindness, and brain damage. “A vaccine against this strain will be most welcomed by parents across the country who in the meantime need to remain very vigilant against this deadly disease,” said Chris.
For more information, see Novartis Vaccines press release
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