AAHI has developed a leprosy vaccine, “LepVax,” that combines an innovative fusion protein (LEP-F1) with AAHI’s GLA-SE adjuvant formulation. LepVax has proven to be safe and immunogenic in a phase 1 clinical trial. A Phase 1/2 clinical trial is anticipated to begin soon in Brazil.
AAHI collaborates to provide protection against leprosy disease.
AAHI’s LepVax vaccine candidate is designed to provide protection to families or other close contacts of leprosy patients in leprosy-endemic regions. It is simple and inexpensive to manufacture at large scale and has been shown to be safe and well tolerated in a Phase 1 clinical trial conducted in collaboration with the American Leprosy Mission (NCT03302897). LepVax is anticipated to be evaluated in both healthy adults and leprosy patients in Brazil in a Phase 1 / 2 clinical trial sponsored by FioCruz (NCT03947437).
Leprosy, or Hansen’s Disease, is caused by a slow-growing bacteria and, if untreated, results in physical deformity such as skin lesions, loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, and erosion of fingers and toes, with accompanying nerve damage. The bacteria that causes these devastating symptoms, Mycobacterium leprae, is found in many locations including India, Brazil, and Indonesia. It is primarily transmitted by droplets from the nose and mouth during prolonged close contact with untreated leprosy patients. Current leprosy treatments entail lengthy multidrug therapy that requires continual monitoring and cannot remedy existing physical or nerve damage. In 2019 alone, there were over two hundred thousand new leprosy cases, almost fifteen thousand of whom were children.