Bharat Biotech launches typhoid vaccine for infants and adults

Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad, India-based biotechnology company, announced on Monday the launch of the world's first clinically proven typhoid conjugate vaccine for adults and infants six months of age and up.

Typbar-TCV is a fourth generation vaccine that provides long-term protection against typhoid disease. In clinical studies, Typbar-TCV was found to be safe and well tolerated in all tested age groups.

In a pivotal Phase III clinical study, Typbar-TCV presented 98 percent seroconversion in infants aged six months to 24 months and 99 percent seroconversion in children between two and 15 years of age. The vaccine presented 92 percent seroconversion in the 15 to 45 year age group.

"Typhoid fever remains an important public health challenge in many countries of the world mainly because of poor diagnostics and increasing resistance to antibiotics," Christian Loucq, the director-general of the International Vaccine Institute said. "At present fundamental prevention strategies like improved sanitation, good hygienic practices and access to clean water are still out of reach for many impoverished communities. One of the most cost effective approaches to prevent infectious diseases, are vaccines which are available now and could help control the disease resulting in reduction of unnecessary suffering and adverse financial consequences."

Typhoid fever is a potentially deadly illness caused by the Salmonella typhi bacterium which is transmitted through contaminated food or drink. Symptoms include headache, high fever, constipation, malaise and diarrhea. The disease causes approximately 20 million illnesses and between 250,000 and 600,000 deaths annually around the world.

"Bharat Biotech's Typbar-TCV induces 'T' cell dependent response with much higher antibody levels providing a very high rate of immunity," Krishna Ella, the chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, said. "We hope this vaccine will reach millions of people and help reduce the burden of this devastating disease in infants and children."

Bharat Biotech has made Typbar-TCV available for supplies to global markets including South Asia, Central Asia, Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. According to the World Health Organization, 90 percent of typhoid deaths occur in Asia with most deaths occurring in children under the age of five.