Encouraging Data on the Immune Response to the New Men B Vaccine in Tots and Teens

Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) welcomes new data released today by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, revealing a robust immune response in babies, toddlers and teenagers to their new Men B vaccine candidate (4CMenB), currently submitted for licence to the EMA.

Meningococcal group B disease is the leading cause of life-threatening meningitis and septicaemia in the UK for which there is currently no vaccine. The disease is difficult to diagnose in the early stages, with symptoms appearing similar to common flu-like illnesses. Therefore, prevention through vaccination is the best way to control these deadly diseases.

Chris Head, Chief Executive of MRF said: “Babies, toddlers and teenagers are most at risk from these diseases. Results coming from the three clinical trials today are reassuring and offer optimistic prospects for preventing Men B disease in the near future. If a safe and effective Men B vaccine does become available, it is essential that Government give it full consideration so we can continue our progress towards a UK free from meningitis and septicaemia.”
Today’s news is greatly welcomed by members of MRF who have lost loved ones to meningitis and septicaemia or are living with the after-effects daily.
Twenty-year-old Nicole Wilson from Cambridgeshire contracted meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia at the age of 16 in June 2008 whilst on holiday in Cyprus. It was 10 days before she regained consciousness and as a result of the disease doctors removed both her legs below the knee and the fingers on both hands. She is now on the waiting list for a kidney and is living with the after affects of meningitis and septicaemia. 
Nicole said: “When I woke up in hospital having contracted meningitis and septicaemia I thought my life had been totally ruined by this devastating disease. But now I realise just how lucky I am to be alive. I am really pleased to hear that there is a Men B vaccine on the horizon as it may prevent other teenagers having to deal with the loss of arms and legs and save lives.”

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Pharmacology/ Therapeutics


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