Newly discovered therapeutic vaccine for rabies
“There remains a significant unmet medical need for a more powerful vaccine to provide rapid and more effective post exposure protection against rabies,” Mr. Yi Zhang, chairman of Yisheng Biopharma and the leader of the project, said. “In China it is estimated over 40 million people are attacked by dogs or other animals every year, and only around 15 million people receive a vaccination. Furthermore, over 80 percent of post-exposure Chinese patients at clinics are classified with Category III exposure defined by the WHO."
The vaccine, created through a six-year collaboration between several international research institutes, has now entered its human clinical trial stage in Singapore.
"Our PIKA adjuvant-based rabies vaccine is a revolutionary innovation, which demonstrates effective protection against rabies infection post exposure to the virus,” Zhang said. “In our multiple animal experiments, animals were first injected with a significantly high dose of the rabies virus, then rescued by our experimental vaccines, as well as the vaccines which are commercially available. Only 20 percent of animals survived after being treated with the vaccines commercially available; however, 80 percent of the animals survived after treatment with our PIKA adjuvant-based rabies vaccine.”
The vaccine is meant to be administered after a person has been exposed to the rabies infection.
The project, previously called a National Medicine Innovation, has been inspected and endorsed by 30 experts of immunology, clinic, virology and biopharmaceuticals. They eagerly anticipate the outcome of the next step in research.
“We are looking forward to the completion of Phase I of the clinical study to provide a first look at the efficacy and safety for humans, and then the launch of Phase II and III multiple center clinical trials in Asian countries,” Dr. Victor Li, overseer of the clinical investigation taking place in Singapore, said. “Besides the significant protection advantage over existing vaccines for post-exposure, this new vaccine offers a better solution for patients, with only three injections in seven days, versus five during a 28 day period for a standard vaccination regimen. Based on PIKA adjuvant technology, a series of new vaccines are undergoing preclinical and clinical trials, including Hepatitis-B, influenza and TB vaccines."
Currently, there is no effective treatment for rabies.