Pfizer-Valneva’s Lyme disease vaccine enters phase 3 amid rising incidence

Pharmaceutical and biotech giant Pfizer joined by specialty vaccine company Valneva announced on Tuesday that they’ve started Phase 3 clinical study for Vaccine Against Lyme for Outdoor Recreationists (VALOR), examining the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of the potential Lyme disease vaccine.

“With increasing global rates of Lyme disease, providing a new option for people to help protect themselves from the disease is more important than ever,” said Annaliesa Anderson, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research & Development at Pfizer. “We hope that the data generated from the Phase 3 study will further support the positive evidence for VLA15 to date, and we are looking forward to collaborating with the research sites across the U.S. and Europe on this important trial.”

“We are extremely pleased to reach this important milestone in the development of VLA15. Lyme disease continues to spread, representing a high unmet medical need that impacts the lives of many in the Northern Hemisphere. We look forward to further investigating the VLA15 candidate in Phase 3, which will take us a step closer to potentially bringing this vaccine to both adults and children who would benefit from it,” said Juan Carlos Jaramillo M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Valneva.

With climate change, the number of Lyme disease cases in the U.S. has increased, particularly in rural areas where incidence has surged 357% between 2007 and 2021, according to FAIR Health.

In addition to the Pfizer-Valneva vaccine, biotech has found other ways to fight the tick-borne disease, such as gene editing ticks at their embryo stages, as Bio.News previously reported.

As outlined in BIO’s 2021 “Biotech Solutions for Climate Change” report, the biotech sector is focusing on a variety of initiatives, such as advanced biofuels, agricultural biological (including carbon capture), renewables, gene-editing solutions, and much more.

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