Sabin PDP launches soil-transmitted helminth (STH) vaccine discovery program

The Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (Sabin PDP) announced the launch of a soil-transmitted helminth (STH) vaccine discovery program.  The new Sabin PDP is supported by the Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. Charitable Foundation, and will be based at the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. The program “will endeavor to advance lead candidate antigens for ascariasis (roundworm) and trichuriasis (whipworm) infections and incorporate them into existing hookworm and schistosomiasis vaccines currently being developed by the Sabin PDP to create a vaccine against all four major human helminth infections.” Sabin noted that ascariasis, an infection of the small intestine, afflicts an estimated 800-900 million people and is a significant cause of acute intestinal obstruction in young children with high worm loads, leading to thousands of deaths annually. Trichuriasis, an infection of the large intestine, affects approximately 500 million people and is arguably the primary cause of inflammatory bowel disease in developing countries.