A new vaccine for Lyme disease is in its final clinical trial, says French pharmaceutical company Valneva. The company is developing the vaccine along with Pfizer. The new vaccine will be the only Lyme’s vaccine for humans if it becomes approved.
The vaccine, named VLA5, generated a strong immune response in participants in the Phase 2 studies.
The third and final stage of the clinical trial will involve 6,000 participants from around the globe, where Lyme’s has the highest incidence, including Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the United States.
How The Vaccine Works
The vaccine targets the outer surface of the protein of the bacteria left by the tick, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is what causes Lyme disease. The protein, called OspA, is blocked by the vaccine, and is unable to be transferred by the tick and infect humans.
“We hope that the data generated from the Phase 3 study will further support the positive evidence for VLA15 to date, and we are looking forward to collaborating with the research sites across the U.S. and Europe on this important trial,” says Annaliesa Anderson, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research & Development at Pfizer.
There are over 476,000 people infected with Lyme disease in the US a year, and a 5.8 percent worldwide rate. Lyme disease can develop into a chronic condition, so the potential to prevent debilitating illness for millions of people is certainly great news.