Schistosomiasis is a parasite carried by snails and transmitted through contact with contaminated fresh water sources such as lakes, ponds, rivers and dams. Schistosomiasis infection is readily transmissible for those who come in frequent contact with contaminated water – particularly children who wade or play in water and women conducting domestic chores.
In collaboration with researchers at the James Cook University and The George Washington University, a promising new antigen, Sm-TSP-2 (Schistosoma mansoni Tetraspanin-2), was selected for development as a schistosomiasis vaccine. Then at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, Sabin and its partners developed the process for manufacture of the vaccine under cGMP, and was followed by technology transfer to Sabin's manufacturing partner, Aeras.
Schistosomiasis afflicts over 250 million people around the globe and is the deadliest disease among the seven most prevalent NTDs, killing an estimated 280,000 people annually. Thanks to private donations from Mr. Morton Hyman, Dr. Gary Michelson, Texas Children’s Hospital and the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Schistosomiasis Vaccine Initiative (SVI) utilizes and leverages the Sabin Vaccine Institute PDP’s existing programmatic and technical infrastructure to produce and evaluate a schistosomiasis vaccine.
Sabin’s diverse partnerships are important to achieving the organization’s mission. The Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (Sabin PDP) leverages the expertise of partners in the academic, public and private sectors and promotes open-source research that focuses on capacity building, infrastructure development and knowledge sharing. To advance product development, we are working with institutions in Europe, Brazil, Malaysia and Mexico to expand product development and manufacturing capabilities to develop new vaccines.
With over a decade of experience, Sabin PDP has produced a well-rounded model that serves as a blueprint for the development of safe and effective vaccines against vaccine preventable and neglected tropical diseases. Existing capabilities include:
Product Development: Established the infrastructure to engage in antigen discovery, rapid development of scalable manufacturing processes (process development), quality control, preclinical and clinical immunology and stability testing.
Most people have never heard of diseases like elephantiasis, river blindness, snail fever, trachoma, roundworm, whipworm, or hookworm. But one in six people globally, including more than half a billion children, have these organisms living and breeding inside their bodies.
Yet the solution to these diseases is relatively simple: For only 50 cents, we can provide one person with treatment and protection against all seven NTDs for up to one year.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of 17 parasitic and bacterial infections that infect more than one billion people around the world, most of whom live on less than $1.25 per day. Without treatment, NTDs can lead to malnutrition, blindness, severe physical disabilities and even death.
The Global Network focuses our efforts on the seven most common NTDs, which make up 90 percent of the global NTD burden.
West Nile Virus is making headlines this week, but it's not the only tropical disease found in the United States. Read Dr. Hotez's op ed for more.
Last Friday, Sabin president Dr. Peter Hotez was a featured guest on Soledad O’Brien’s CNN morning show “Starting Point.” On the show, Dr. Hotez discussed the burden of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) globally and closer to home in the United States.