Shigella and ETEC are two of the leading bacterial causes of diarrheal diseases worldwide, affecting up to half of travellers to the developing world and causing approximately 200 million cases in children under five years of age in low- and middle-income countries each year. In addition to a high death toll, repeated infections with Shigella and ETEC can also have long-term consequences on children growth and development.
The published manuscript describes the generation and characterization of ShigETEC, a live, attenuated vaccine candidate. The data demonstrate that vaccination with ShigETEC results in broad protection against different Shigella species that is attributed to the removal of the immunodominant and serotype determining LPS O-antigen by genetic modification of the vaccine strain, and the ETEC coverage is achieved by expressing non-toxigenic ETEC toxins by the Shigella vaccine strain. ShigETEC is non-invasive and avirulent and therefore expected to address the reactogenicity problem experienced in clinical studies with the previous generations of live Shigella vaccines.
“Our extensive preclinical studies demonstrate that a broad, serotype-independent immune response can be achieved with our non-invasive vaccine strain. This peer-reviewed publication represents an acknowledgment of the validity of Eveliqure’s approach in vaccine development against Shigellae and ETEC. The final version of the vaccine strain is the result of extensive testing and integrates latest knowledge about the pathogenesis of and immune responses to these pathogens.” – commented Tamás Henics, MD, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Eveliqure.
“Our vaccine against Shigella and ETEC has the potential not only to prevent deaths but also alleviate the burden due to long-term consequences of these infections and the threat to travellers to endemic countries. We are pleased to announce the publication of this data that results from extensive work from our R&D team, and look forward to the outcome of our ongoing clinical testing”- commented Gábor Somogyi, MD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Eveliqure.
Eveliqure is developing ShigETEC both as a vaccine for travellers to endemic regions, and for children living in developing countries. Phase 1 clinical testing of ShigETEC was initiated in September 2020 and is currently ongoing with volunteers receiving increasing doses of ShigETEC.
Eveliqure is a clinical-stage Austrian biotechnology company that has developed a proprietary vaccine technology platform aiming at improving the quality of life for both the poor and the privileged by providing innovative medical solutions to fight diarrhoeal diseases. Eveliqure is resident at CEBINA, the Central European Biotech Incubator and Accelerator (www.cebina.eu).
This project has received funding from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) under grant number 845251, 851641, 858478 and 865576. The clinical testing has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 815568, and from the Wellcome Trust under award number 212399/C/18/Z.