New collaboration to advance research on therapeutic vaccine for Chagas disease

    A new collaboration was announced to help advance research towards the development of a therapeutic vaccine for Chagas disease. The collaboration involves Baylor College of Medicine and SouthWest Electronic Energy Medical Research Institute, and “allots $250,000 per year for two years to support ongoing efforts at BCM in the research and development of a vaccine for Chagas disease, a tropical disease spread by insects that is an important cause of heart disease in South and Central America. This therapeutic vaccine would work to treat individuals already affected by this disease, which is common in those living in poverty.” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the newly established Baylor College of Medicine National School of Tropical Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics, commented, “Chagas disease is one of the most devastating diseases of poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean region, including new foci in the Amazon Region. Chagas disease has also emerged in Texas and elsewhere in the U.S. There is an urgent need to develop new therapeutics for this infection, including a therapeutic vaccine.” SouthWest Electronic Energy recently established its Medical Research Institute under the leadership of company chairman and CEO Len Benckenstein. The goal of the Medical Research Institute is to collaborate directly in the active conduct of medical research with the most talented and productive medical researchers available.