ImmBio is utilising its ImmBioVax™ technology to develop PnuBioVax, a vaccine targeting pneumococcal disease. This project, initiated with funding from the UK’s Biomedical Catalyst, has provided strong evidence of cross-strain efficacy beyond current vaccines.
There are approximately 100 serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae in circulation. Surveillance studies show that the relative prevalence rates between strains alter over time. The emergence of new serotypes presents an ongoing challenge. Existing marketed vaccines are relatively expensive to produce and do not cover all existing or emerging strains. In contrast, PnuBioVax offers the potential of improved protective breadth and low production costs.
Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria can occur in the sinuses, ears and lungs, leading to sinusitis, otitis media and pneumonia respectively. Pneumonia, caused by pneumococcal bacteria kills more than 4 million people a year, with half among children under age five. It is responsible for the largest number of deaths in children under five worldwide. Infection often occurs alongside other conditions and is a significant source of mortality in the elderly. Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the two prime bacterial causes of meningitis.
Despite the availability of antibiotics, the death rate associated with pneumococcal disease once invasive infection has occurred is high at around 14%. Antibiotics can treat infections, especially in otherwise healthy groups, when therapy is initiated quickly. However, resistance is becoming a significant challenge and is emerging against many antibiotics.
PnuBioVax has now progressed into full Clinical Development with the completion of a Phase I Clinical Trial.