Seattle-based biotech startup launches Snail Fever vaccine trial – GeekWire

The first patient was given a dose in a phase 1 trial for the SchistoShield vaccine against schistosomiasis. (Photo of Life Science PAI)

The first patient was given a vaccine against tropical diseases schistosomiasis, developed by the biotech company Seattle PAI Life Sciences.

A phase 1 study will evaluate the safety and immune response in healthy volunteers Washington Kaiser Permanente Health Research Institute in Seattle.

Schistosomiasis, also called snail fever, is caused by parasitic flatworms that get into human skin when in contact with contaminated water. Prolonged infections can cause liver and kidney damage, infertility and bladder cancer.

So far treatments are availablethe vaccine will create an arsenal against the disease that affects almost 240 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.

Treatment often does not protect against symptoms including headaches and malaise, and many people experience a relapse, the PAI CEO said. Derrick Carter.

This disease is “second only to malaria among the parasitic diseases with the most devastating economic consequences,” said PAI Vice President Sean Gray in statement The trial is announced on Monday. Many vaccine candidates have been tested, but “few have offered substantial protection,” Gray said.

PAI is also developing vaccines and treatments for other running conditions, including tuberculosis and leishmaniasis. It also develops and sells adjuvants, immunostimulants added to vaccines.

The 6-person company was founded in 2004 by Carter, who is also the lead researcher for another vaccine company in Seattle, HDT Bio. The new SchistoShield vaccine is the first clinical trial of PAI.

The new vaccine contains a protein found in the flatworm, and was invented at the Texas Science University Center for Medical Sciences and has received a PAI license. The study is funded by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and a public-private partnership. RIGHT Foundation (Research Investments in Global Health Technologies)..

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