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Lyme Disease Vaccine Could Be Ready In 4 to 5 Years

Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing diseases in the northern hemisphere and this week’s announcement that pop star Justin Beiber had the diagnosis brought the tick-borne illness to the forefront of the news. For now, the main prevention lies in avoiding tick contact but one company, Valneva, is working fervently to develop what they believe will be the world’s first vaccine against Lyme’s disease.

Valneva’s has made a name for itself by developing vaccines for in-demand illnesses and now the biotech company has its eyes set on Lyme disease. Their Lyme disease vaccine prototype, VLA15 is currently in Phase 2 developments and is being tested on more than 800 people to measure both efficacy and safety. Although difficult to predict, Valneva’s CEO, Thomas Lingelbach told Forbes that he expected the vaccine to be completed in the next few years.

“Phase 2 will end in the middle of 2020. We expect this will enable us to enter the last clinical phase in mid-2021,” explained Lingelbach. “Depending on those results, we may be four to four and a half years away from the first potential Lyme disease vaccine.”

When completed, the vaccine will likely be administered in three doses, each a month apart. The initial vaccine is expected to last 6 seasons, referring to the time from spring to late summer when the ticks are active and therefore most likely to transfer the illness to humans. After six seasons, Lingelbach believes that boosters will be required, but will likely be needed to be administered every 2-3 seasons.

Read the full article by Dana Dovey on Forbes' website here.

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October 21, 2023

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