Hand, foot and mouth is an infection caused by a number of viruses, including the human enterovirus 71. It's generally thought of as a mild infection that occasionally sweeps child care facilities and kindergartens, but it can be more sinister. Now, Inviragen has released some topline data from a Phase I trial showing an immune response from everyone receiving the vaccine.
Inviragen's vaccine, code-named INV21, is made from highly purified virus particles. In the Phase I study, people received two doses of the vaccine at high or low doses, and every participant showed an immune response. The study was carried out in collaboration with the Singapore National University Health System.
"The development of vaccine candidates such as INV21 is a positive result of the strong collaboration between Singapore academic clinicians and local industry partners in addressing emerging infectious diseases threats," said clinical trial principal investigator Dr. Paul Tambyah.
In children, hand, foot and mouth is generally mild and self-limiting. However, like many seemingly mild-mannered childhood infections, it can be a lot more unpleasant in vulnerable individuals, leading to meningitis, encephalitis and polio-like paralysis. The infection is a public health problem in East Asia, including Singapore, where the trial was carried out, and is currently at epidemic levels in the region. This is just the first glance at the data (a more detailed presentation will take place at an infectious disease meeting in 2012), and more studies are needed, but it certainly shows the early signs of something promising. Inviragen plans additional clinical trials in 2012 in children, who are generally at a greater risk of contracting the disease. And, just as an afterthought, the infection is not the same as the animal viral disease foot and mouth (hoof and mouth).
- read the press release