History

The suffering caused by hookworm is not well known in the developed world but in many countries it is all too prevalent. More than 700 million people are infected with hookworm. The largest number of cases occur in impoverished areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, China and Latin America. Globally, approximately 3.2 billion people are at risk for hookworm infection.

About Hookworm

Hookworm is an intestinal parasite most commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical climates of Africa, Asia and Latin America.  Hookworm, one of three members of a family of parasites known as the soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), are half-inch long worms that attach themselves to the intestinal wall and feed on human blood. Left untreated, hookworm causes severe intestinal blood loss leading to iron-deficiency anemia and protein malnutrition, particularly in pregnant women and children.

Project Status

 
The Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative (HHVI) has identified and produced several candidates for potential use as a vaccine. HHVI is focused on developing and testing a vaccine to prevent moderate to severe hookworm infection in children younger than 10 years old living in endemic areas.

Partners

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.

Capabilities

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.

The recent West Nile Virus outbreaks in Texas and across the United States have called attention to the strong links between tropical diseases and poverty, both in the United States and abroad. In an editorial published in the Sunday, September 2 edition of the Houston Chronicle, Dr. Hotez and his co-author, Dr. Kristy Murray of Baylor College of Medicine, called for more disease surveillance, education for healthcare providers and greater engagement by product development partnerships such as the Sabin PDP to respond to these urgent public health issues:

Chagas Disease/Leishmaniasis

The Sabin PDP has initiated development for a new therapeutic vaccine for Chagas disease that will be undertaken with partners in Mexico, where between two and six million people are infected with this leading cause of poverty in Latin America. Current efforts focus on the development of two vaccine candidate antigens that will ultimately comprise the first therapeutic vaccine for Chagas disease.

Human Hookworm Vaccine

The Sabin Vaccine Institute PDP works on developing vaccines for the estimated 440 million people suffering from hookworm in the world today. Established in 2000 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Sabin PDP (originally the Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative) is the first and only PDP in the world developing a vaccine for human hookworm infection.

The Human Hookworm Vaccine Prospectus

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