Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Globorix – new low-cost meningococcal vaccine

The new combination vaccine candidate Globorix(TM) promises to help control pediatric meningitis in the “meningitis belt” of Africa. Meningitis control has historically depended on expensive last-minute outbreak immunizations, and in 2000, WHO and public health experts called for a sustainable strategy where meningitis vaccine could be administered in general immunization campaigns. Until today no combined conjugate meningococcal vaccine has been available to protect infants in Africa against the disease.

Globorix (TM) is a conjugate vaccine developed by Glaxo-Smith Kline that provides immunity against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Neisseria meningitides serogroups A and C. In clinical trials including countries in Africa and Asia, the conjugate meningococcal vaccine has demonstrated a good safety profile and immunogenicity against meningococcal meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A and C in addition to five other major childhood diseases.

The current meningitis control strategy relies on reactive mass immunization campaigns using polysaccharide vaccines. While these campaigns are estimated to have saved 70% of lives in epidemics, this older type of vaccine has significant drawbacks. Polysaccharide vaccines do not offer protection to infants and in older children and adults they only protect for 3-5 years, leaving them vulnerable to future epidemics. Polysaccharide vaccines also do not address endemic meningitis

Read the full press release here

BBC News Report


Written by farzaneh

April 7, 2007 at 4:36 am

One Response

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  1. Globorix is particularly timely – as there are meningitis outbreaks in four African countries. From PATH.

    Two months into the dry season in the African meningitis belt, 15,595 cases of meningitis—including 1,670 deaths—have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). The affected countries are Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Uganda.

    WHO promotes a two-pronged strategy for dealing with such outbreaks: epidemic preparedness and epidemic response (including mass vaccination). Already around 1.5 million people in affected counties have been reached by mass vaccination campaigns organized and supported by national authorities, WHO, Médecins sans Frontières, and other international partners. Vaccination campaigns are ongoing in Burkina Faso. Read more about the outbreak and the international response on WHO’s website.

    Samples obtained from patients indicate that these cases are caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A, the most common type of meningitis in Africa. PATH and WHO are supporting the development of an improved and affordable vaccine against this type of meningitis. Expected to be available by 2010, the new vaccine will offer longer-lasting protection, allowing preventive immunization.


    April 11, 2007 at 1:42 am

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