The Schistosomiasis Vaccine Initiative was launched in 2008 through funding from Mr. Morton Hyman and the Blavatnik Family Foundation. In collaboration with researchers at James Cook University and The George Washington University, a promising antigen, Sm-TSP-2, was selected for development.
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 200 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.