MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

NIAID praises participants of successful rotavirus vaccine study in India

The successful findings of a recent rotavirus vaccine study will provide infants in India with protection against severe rotavirus-induced gastroenteritis, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said on Tuesday.

Anthony Fauci congratulated Bharat Biotech International, Ltd., the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health and the government, scientists and people of India on the results of the ROTAVAC rotavirus vaccine study. Fauci said the recent trial of ROTAVAC represents a major victory for India's scientific community against a deadly disease.

"Highly contagious rotaviruses are the leading cause of severe diarrheal illnesses among infants and young children in both developed and resource-limited countries," Fauci said. "Each year, rotavirus-induced diarrheal disease kills roughly 435,000 children younger than five years old and hospitalizes an estimated two million children worldwide, largely in developing countries. The youngest children-those between six months and two years of age-are most vulnerable."

ROTAVIRUS is a new vaccine against rotavirus that was isolated, manufactured and tested in India. The NIAID provided an Indian rotavirus strain, 116E, to Bharat Biotech through a technology transfer agreement in 2000. The company then adapted the strain to produce investigational vaccines for both human and animal clinical trials, NIAID, along with gift funds from PATH, continued to sponsor Indian investigators and their U.S. collaborators for three Phase I studies involving the live, attenuated 116E rotavirus vaccine and provided clinical site monitoring for the trials.

"We are deeply gratified to have played a role in establishing the safety and efficacy of the ROTAVAC vaccine," Fauci said. "No infant or child should die as the result of rotavirus-induced severe diarrhea. NIAID is proud to be among the scientific partners who have worked over the past decades to potentially make that affliction a thing of the past for the children of India."

The NIAID is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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