Vaccine shows progress against meningitis B

New data has shown that antibodies created by the Novartis 4CMenB vaccine killed most of a collection of genetically and geographically diverse meningococcal serogroup B - meningitis B - strains.

The research findings of this strain coverage were published in the recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

4CMenB is a four component, investigational, meningococcal serogroup B vaccine devised by Novartis Vaccines. The study tested 124 adult MenB strains and 57 immunized infant MenB strains. The data showed that 74 percent of strains were killed in the pooled sera in infants and 65 percent of strains were killed in adults vaccinated with 4CMenB.

“These important findings support our innovative approach using multiple novel components in a single vaccine to provide broad coverage against the deadly and unpredictable MenB diseased,” Andrin Oswald, head of Novartis' vaccines and diagnostics division, said. ”Novartis is committed to developing a MenB vaccine that protects all age groups who are at highest risk of contracting often deadly MenB disease, especially infants and young children.”

Additional analysis was shown using the Meningococcal Antigen Typing System that tests if multiple components of a vaccine are acting on a particular strain. When three vaccine antigens were present on any strain of MenB in adults, there was a 100 percent kill rate. When one or two antigens were present significantly on any MenB strain, 85 and 94 percent of the time, respectively, the strains were killed.

Novartis has provided the MATS assay platform to regional and national reference laboratories throughout the world. This will allow these institutions to analyze circulating strains and potential coverage of 4CMenB on a local and regional level. This is expected to provide national coverage data on over 1,500 MenB strains by mid-2011.