Prokarium awards the Newton Fund for the development of an oral, thermostable enteric fever vaccine: saving lives and supporting tourism in Mexico

Prokarium has awarded a £0.37m grant to develop an oral, bivalent vaccine against enteric fever.

Enteric fever, a preventable illness caused by Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi, is the most common bacterial bloodstream infection in South Asia. Despite progress being made in controlling enteric fever in several parts of the world, it remains an important public health burden in South Asia and Africa. It has been estimated to cause >15 million illnesses and nearly 153,000 deaths worldwide annually and the incidence is estimated to be over 100 per 100,000 population.
Although there are vaccines to prevent typhoid, there is no vaccine for paratyphoid which is a growing problem globally. The dual typhoid-paratyphoid vaccine developed in this project, could profit not only the Mexican society but also populations in developing countries and travellers globally.

This project brought together UK-based Prokarium’s novel vaccine delivery technology with Mexican Probiomed’s pharmaceutical manufacturing capability. The vaccine is swallowed, passes through the stomach and into the intestine where safe bacteria are released to target the body’s own immune cells and trigger an immune response to protect against enteric fever. This avoids the need for injections, and more importantly means it can be delivered to people living in remote areas, as the vaccine is self-administered. If the future vaccine is manufactured for market supply in Mexico, this would generate and support many highly skilled jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.