MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Zydus and IDRI partner to bring a safe and affordable VL vaccine to India

Zydus, a healthcare provider, and IDRI, a non-profit product development and research company, announced on Thursday that they have formed a partnership to develop a safe and affordable visceral leishmaniasis vaccine.

VL, or Kala-Azar as it's called in India, is an infection transmitted by an infected sand fly. It is the most severe type of leishmaniasis, which affects vital organs and can lead to death if left untreated. More than 500,000 people are diagnoses with VL annually, 50,000 of which result in death.

There is currently no safe vaccine to prevent the disease. Zydus and IDRI will be collaborating to conduct clinical studies in India to develop and market a VL vaccine specifically for the Indian people. IDRI has already developed a vaccine candidate, LEISH-F3+GLA-SE, which was proven to be safe and induce immune responses during a Phase I clinical trial.

"Zydus' expertise and breadth of development and commercialization experience will be instrumental in getting IDRI's VL vaccine to the people who need it most," IDRI Founder and President Dr. Steven G. Reed said. "We are appreciative of Zydus' commitment to this program. This is an excellent example of cooperating to help combat a devastating disease without consideration for a profit motive. IDRI could not ask for a better partner in this endeavor."