The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) announced recently that its product development partnership (Sabin PDP) successfully completed a Phase 1 clinical trial in Brazil of Na-GST-1/Alhydrogel®, a vaccine candidate for human hookworm, one of the most pervasive neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affecting the world’s poor. The Sabin PDP is based at Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Necator americanus
Necator americanus (hookworm)

The trial, which tested the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine, ran from January 2011 to August 2014 and enrolled 102 healthy adults in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Final study results are expected in December 2014.

“It is promising that our hookworm vaccine candidate yielded positive safety and immunogenicity results in people living in such a high risk area,” said David Diemert, MD, principal investigator of the study, director of clinical trials of the Sabin PDP and associate professor at The George Washington University. “This encouraging outcome brings us one step closer to realizing sustainable control of hookworm. With more than 600 million people worldwide infected with this devastating disease, it is critical that we continue pursuing long-term, low-cost and safe protections for children and adults.”

Sabin PDP partners collaborating on this trial include The George Washington University; Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, a regional unit of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) of the Brazilian Ministry of Health; and Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI). Funding is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Studies will continue to evaluate the Na-GST-1/Alhydrogel® vaccine in the United States through the Children’s National Clinical and Translational Science Institute and in Gabon through the HOOKVAC consortium. The Na-GST-1/Alhydrogel® vaccine is being tested in combination with the GLA-AF adjuvant that is produced by IDRI.

“Developing lasting solutions for hookworm and other NTDs trapping people in poverty requires comprehensive collaboration, cutting-edge science and leadership among health and policy leaders in endemic countries,” said Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, president of Sabin, director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “The Sabin PDP is proud to pioneer developing and testing of the human hookworm vaccine and work with such esteemed global development partners in areas heavily impacted by NTDs, simultaneously accelerating progress and building up local capacity.”