Intercell ceases development of traveler's diarrhea vaccine

The vaccine firm Intercell has decided to cease further development of a late-stage patch-based traveler’s diarrhea vaccine as a result of poor efficacy in Phase II and Phase II studies against enterotoxigenic E. coli.

Despite dropping out on the traveler’s diarrhea vaccine, Intercell still plants to evaluate the patch technology for the deliver of other possible candidates for vaccines and to develop an investigational vaccine enhancement system that would protect against avian H5N1 influenza, Gen Eng News reports.

Data from the placebo-controlled Phase III ELT301 study showed that the vaccine did not reduce the incidence of ETEC infection or in preventing all-cause diarrhea. This is in contrast to previous data from a Phase II study in which the vaccine appeared to reduce clinically significant episodes of diarrhea.

“We are extremely disappointed with these unexpected Phase II and II outcomes for our traveler’s diarrhea vaccine patch,” Gerd Zettlmeissl, Intercell's CEO, said, according to Gen Eng News.

Intercell and development partner GlaxoSmithKline has forged a strategic alliance to develop needle-free, patch-based vaccines in December of 2009. The firm, partnered with Biological E. in India, is also involved in a prophylactic Japanese encephalitis vaccine named Ixiaro/Jespect, which is expected to undergo an important Phase III trial in children by early 2011.