Saint Louis University (SLU) is currently recruiting patients for a hepatitis C (HCV) vaccine clinical trial. The SLU Center for Vaccine Development is seeking 200 volunteers for a clinical trial to test the efficacy and safety of Chiron Corporation’s investigational HCV vaccine.
Two previous, smaller HCV vaccine studies were conducted by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and SLU in 2003. This new, larger trial will again test the Chiron vaccine with the addition of a new adjuvant, a chemical that enhances the body’s response to vaccine. Each trial enrollee will receive one of nine different combinations of the vaccine and adjuvant.
Sharon Frey, MD, is Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease at the SLU School of Medicine. “Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe that approximately 40,000 new cases of hepatitis C infections occur every year, therefore a vaccine to prevent the infection would be an important breakthrough in controlling the spread of the hepatitis C virus," said Frey.
Approximately 2.7 million Americans have chronic HCV, making it the most common blood-borne virus in the nation. Those with the disease often experience life-threatening complications such as cirrhosis, liver cancer and ultimately a degeneration of all liver functions. Chronic HCV is responsible for more than 10,000 U.S. deaths per year. The CDC estimates that the combined cost of medical expenses and loss of work hours related to HCV is in excess of $600 million annually.
The trial is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and Chiron Corporation. Those interested in volunteering for the study should contact the SLU Center for Vaccine Development: 314.977.6333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Saint Louis University news release dated May 4, 2006