A Nantes laboratory is working on a vaccine against Lyme disease, transmitted by ticks and which can be very serious in some cases. The long-awaited vaccine could be ready by 2025.
While the Global coronavirus vaccine race rages on, the French laboratory Valneva is working on another disease. Based in Nantes, this establishment has been trying to develop a vaccine against Lyme disease for the past ten years. Franck Grimaud, general manager of the Valneva laboratory, announced on France Info this Saturday that he hopes to bring this vaccine to the public in 2025.
This bacterial infection is transmitted by ticks, especially in the countryside and in wooded areas, and has grown considerably over the past 20 years. Lyme disease, often asymptomatic, can nonetheless lead to heart and neurological problems if left untreated. Between 2017 and 2018, its incidence rate was 104 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Ministry of Health. In 2018, 67,000 new cases were identified in France.
First validated safety tests
“We started research about ten years ago for the development of a vaccine that is suitable for both European and American strains, explains the CEO of the laboratory to our colleagues. The first tests which aim to test the safety of the vaccine on humans has already passed. We are in the process of taking a second step, which is to test the best volume / efficacy ratio. “
“The third phase, which should start in 2022, is to test this vaccine on around 16,000 people with a placebo group who will not be vaccinated and a second with our vaccine to demonstrate that a large number of people are well protected” , concludes Franck Grimaud. An agreement has been concluded with the American group Pfizer to co-finance the third phase of the project. It is this company which will market, with Valneva, the potential future vaccine.