Outdoor enthusiasts can get protection against Lyme disease, which is carried by Ixodes ticks. A vaccine currently being tested in the US will help prevent it, reports NPR.
The vaccine is currently in the third phase of clinical trials and is being tested on humans. If testing is successful, it could receive approval and enter the market in 2025.
A new vaccine called VLA15 was developed by Pfizer and the French drug manufacturer Valneva. It will be intended for people aged 5 and over. The study covers about 6,000 people from Europe and the USA, where there is a risk of catching this disease.
“We are extremely pleased to reach this important milestone in the development of VLA15. Lyme disease continues to spread, representing a high unmet medical need that impacts the lives of many in the Northern Hemisphere,” says chief medical director of Valneva.
There used to be a vaccine for Lyme disease in the US, but it was withdrawn from the market 20 years ago. Although the vaccine was highly effective, it was blamed for side effects, including arthritis in patients. The current vaccine works similarly to the previous one, but omits the part of the protein to which the negative effects were attributed.
In addition to a potential vaccine, monoclonal antibodies are also being developed against Lyme disease by MassBiologics, a division of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The first phase of human trials of the antibodies will be completed this month. The second one should start next spring.