November 13, 2019 – SEOUL, South Korea – The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) has received a $3.33 million grant from the Wellcome Trust to identify and select promising vaccine candidates against invasive non-typhoidal salmonella (iNTS), an enteric disease that disproportionately affects the world’s poorest populations.
iNTS may cause up to 680,000 deaths every year, primarily in resource-poor settings in sub-Saharan Africa. Treatment is difficult and complicated by emerging antibiotic resistance, meaning therapeutic options are limited and expensive, if not inaccessible. With no vaccine currently available to prevent infection by these bacteria, IVI made a targeted investment in non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) vaccine development, anticipating a potential combination with IVI’s typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) that is now entering Phase III trials in Nepal, the Philippines and Indonesia. Going forward, this award from the Wellcome Trust will leverage that initial investment and help IVI accelerate vaccine development timelines and prepare for trials in humans.
“Developing a vaccine against invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella is a logical addition to our vaccine portfolio,” says Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI. “IVI’s efforts to reduce the burden of Salmonella Typhi date to the early 2000s when we first launched DOMI in Asia, and data collected in the past decade from Africa suggests that NTS disease is highly endemic in many African settings.”
To build upon its legacy Diseases of the Most Impoverished (DOMI) program, IVI currently leads ongoing investigations into the epidemiological and economic impact of typhoid in Africa through SETA/SETA Plus. Additionally, IVI’s efforts to capture data on anti-microbial resistance (AMR) in the affected regions will complement iNTS vaccine development. AMR complicates and worsens outcomes in the treatment of iNTS, highlighting the need for further preventative measures and making a vaccine more imperative.
The Wellcome Trust identified NTS as a priority for vaccine development following the WHO’s publication of a list of AMR priority pathogens. With this designation the Wellcome Trust has increased NTS vaccine funding to accelerate clinical development, as outlined in their 2018 report, “Vaccines to tackle drug resistant infections.”
“This new investment from Wellcome has been made within our Affordable Innovations for Global Health Flagship. We’re delighted to build this long-term partnership with IVI to reduce the burden of NTS by accelerating the development and implementation of new affordable technologies and interventions,” said Sally Nicholas, Partner, the Wellcome Trust.
In partnership with the Wellcome Trust, this award positions IVI to lead the development of multivalent vaccines against Salmonella species. In combination with IVI’s TCV (Vi-DT), which should provide protection to infants under two years old as well as longer duration of protection, a new vaccine against NTS would save the lives of thousands of people annually.
About invasive non-typhoidal salmonella (iNTS)
Salmonella enterica, a single bacterial species, is a major public health concern in many parts of the world. In terms of causing human disease, salmonellae are divided into typhoidal and non-typhoidal groups. Invasive non-typhoidal salmonella (iNTS) is endemic in Africa, causing gastroenteritis, diarrhea, high fever, bacteremia, and focal infection. NTS is estimated to cause over 600,000 deaths every year, primarily in Africa and south Asia. No vaccine is currently available, making this a priority area for global health R&D.
About the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is a nonprofit inter-governmental organization established in 1997 at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, IVI was the first international organization hosted by Korea. IVI has 35 signatory countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) on its treaty, including Korea, Sweden and India as state funders.
Our mandate is to make vaccines available and accessible for the world’s most vulnerable people. We focus on infectious diseases of global health importance such as cholera, typhoid, shigella, salmonella, schistosomiasis, strep A, HAV, HPV, TB, HIV, MERS-CoV and AMR. For more information, please visit ivi.int.
Wellcome exists to improve health by helping great ideas to thrive. We support researchers, we take on big health challenges, we campaign for better science, and we help everyone get involved with science and health research. Wellcome is a politically and financially independent foundation.
Aerie Em, Global Communications & Program Consultant
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