Following the first SAVAC stakeholders’ meeting on March 11, 2021, the second SAVAC stakeholders’ meeting will be organized by the SAVAC Executive Committee chaired by Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI, and co-chaired by Prof. Andrew Steer, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and by the IVI Secretariat. The meeting will be held in Stockholm, Sweden on June 6, 2022. Participants are welcomed in-person or virtually.
SAVAC members will share and review the latest SAVAC progress and achievements since the first stakeholders’ meeting, as well as seek valuable input from multidisciplinary participants and funders. Each SAVAC working group including the burden of disease, vaccine safety, correlates of protection, and full value of vaccine assessment, will present their work to various stakeholders in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, policy decision-makers, and funders. The meeting is expected to be beneficial for all Streptococcus A vaccine stakeholders in bringing a broader view of the ongoing Strep A vaccine development continuum.
Please visit the website (https://savac.ivi.int/) for more information on the Consortium, SAVAC.
Group A Streptococcus (GAS), Streptococcus pyogenes, is the biggest infectious killer that no one has heard of. The concerning global disease causes an estimated 18 million people to suffer, and 517,000 deaths with 1.8 million new cases annually. A great proportion of the disease lies in low- and middle-income countries, which makes it not necessarily a bigger problem, but a bigger priority. The greatest burden is due to rheumatic heart disease, but invasive GAS diseases also contribute significantly, together with acute rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. GAS pharyngitis is a contributor to global antibiotic use.
There is a significant global need to reinforce current control strategies and develop new primary prevention strategies including vaccines. On 31 May 2017, the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a Resolution on ‘Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease’ for adoption at the Seventy-first World Health Assembly in May 2018. Although many recombinants, multivalent vaccine candidates have been developed, there has been little financial investment beyond early-stage clinical studies, and no major manufacturer has a GAS vaccine program.
In line with its mission, Strep A Vaccine Global Consortium (SAVAC) is formed and convene representatives from the health sector to facilitate the development of GAS vaccine. The SAVAC is expected to enact and enable the R&D roadmap, and to create the public health value proposition with WHO. From development to delivery, the SAVAC will be a stepping stone on the way to an endless horizon of a safe, globally effective, and affordable GAS vaccine.