IVI and WHO Host Global Consultation on Group A Streptococcal Vaccine Development
- International meeting convenes leading scientists and experts to accelerate development of vaccines against group A Streptococcus (GAS)
- GAS is a potentially deadly bacterial pathogen, causing rheumatic heart disease and invasive infection in developing countries
December 13, 2016, Seoul, Korea – The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are co-hosting the Global Stakeholder Consultation on Group A Streptococcal (GAS) Vaccine Development at the Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam Hotel from December 12-13.
The one-and-a-half-day meeting convenes international scientific experts, vaccine developers and funders to review evidence on GAS burden of disease and the need for a vaccine, and to discuss the feasibility and pathway for developing GAS vaccines. The meeting is in line with WHO’s goal to accelerate the development and licensure of high-quality, safe and effective GAS vaccines for low-and middle-income countries.
Group A Streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes) is a bacterial pathogen that causes a broad spectrum of disease ranging from mild infections such as strep throat that lead to progressive heart damage and death. The disease is often associated with lower development status and poverty, and is commonly found in Africa, the Subcontinent, the islands of the Pacific, and among the First Nations of Canada, the native peoples of Australia and New Zealand, and native Americans. The WHO estimates GAS causes a substantial burden of disease and death globally, especially in low and middle-income countries where rheumatic heart disease and invasive infections are common. Globally over 400,000 people die every year from complications of infection. A vaccine is currently not available.
Speakers and participants include representatives from organizations such as PATH, Wellcome Trust, Prevent Canada, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, GSK, Pfizer, Sanofi, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of Auckland, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, University of Queensland, University of Melbourne, and University of Hawaii among others. Her Excellency Clare Fearnley, the New Zealand Ambassador to Korea, and Mr. Ravi Kewalram, Chargé d'Affaires of the Australian Embassy Seoul gave opening remarks on the first day.
The meeting is supported by Shinil, the Coalition to Advance New Vaccines against group A Streptococcus (CANVAS), RHD Action, and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. It is also the second in a series of annual global vaccine fora organized by IVI and supported by Shinil.
“The consultation provides an excellent opportunity to discuss, coordinate and mobilize resources and action at a global level to take concerted action against group A Streptococcus,” said Jerome Kim, IVI Director General, “The increasing body of evidence shows that the burden of GAS diseases and its linkage with poverty cannot be ignored. The global health community must work together to accelerate the development of a vaccine against this major killer.”
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is the world’s only international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world’s poorest people, especially children in developing countries. Established in 1997, IVI operates as an independent international organization under a treaty signed by 35 countries and the World Health Organization. The Institute conducts research in more than 20 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America on vaccines against enteric and diarrheal infections, Japanese encephalitis, MERS-CoV, and dengue fever, and develops new and improved vaccines at its headquarters in Seoul, Republic of Korea. For more information, please visit http://www.ivi.int.
Tae Kyung Byun
Phone: +82-2-872-2801 (Ext. 159)