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Indian company’s Typhoid vaccine highly effective

Typhoid causes about 200,000 deaths every year mostly in south and south east Asia and Africa. The bacteria that causes the disease is also showing signs of developing drug-resistance.

health Updated: Oct 04, 2017 12:44 IST
Typhoid,vaccine,Bharat Biotech
Bharat Biotech’s Typhoid vaccine was shown to have 87% efficacy in human trials.(Shutterstock)

Bharat Biotech, an Indian company, has developed a vaccine for typhoid with an efficacy of 87% for babies, children and adults under real-life conditions.

The results of the human clinical trial, conducted by Andrew Pollard of the Oxford Vaccine Group, were published in the Lancet on Thursday.

The Hyderabad-based company was founded by scientists Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella in 1996 and in about two decades it has brought over 20 products to the market and filed over 50 patents.

“The results of this study and the 87% effectiveness success endorse more than 10 years of R&D efforts to develop this vaccine and various clinical trials that have been carried out over the past 8 years,” Dr Krishna Ella, said.

Typhoid is caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi, and causes 200,000 deaths each year, mainly in South and South East Asia and Africa. Around 20 million new infections are reported every year.

The trial enlisted 112 participants between 18 and 60 years.

The success of the vaccine has come at a critical juncture because the bacteria has shown signs of drug-resistance, for example in cases from Hyderabad city in Pakistan.

Another important advancement is that the vaccine can be administered to children under 2 years of age and confers long-term immunity, unlike existing vaccines.

Bharat Biotech’s ROTAVAC vaccine, that protects against diarrhoea, is already in the market. At present, the company is conducting phase 1 clinical trials with Zika and Chikungunya vaccines.

The trial was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Commission.

First Published: Oct 04, 2017 12:44 IST