Oral cholera vaccine: Hilleman Labs completes initial trials


New Delhi: Aiming to develop affordable vaccines for global health, pharmaceutical firm Hilleman Laboratories on Friday said it has successfully completed the initial clinical trials of its novel oral cholera vaccine Hillchol.

The vaccine, once ready for use, will address the growing need to stop cholera in the developing world.

“The Phase I/II clinical study was conducted in partnership with the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh,” said a statement from the Hilleman Laboratories.

Cholera kills an estimated 95,000 people and affects 2.9 million more every year. Urgent action is needed to protect communities, prevent transmission and control outbreaks.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an ambitious new strategy to reduce deaths from cholera by 90 per cent by 2030 was launched by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC).

GTFCC is a diverse network of more than 50 UN and international agencies, academic institutions and NGOs that supports countries affected by the disease.

Results of the clinical trials were announced at the Vaccines for Enteric Diseases Conference 2017 recently held in Albufeira, Portugal.

“Hillchol TM was tested in 840 subjects that included adults, adolescents as well as small children. We were able to demonstrate safety and tolerability of Hillchol TM in our Phase I/II trials,” said Ajit Pal Singh, Vice President – Clinical R&D at Hilleman Labs.

Talking about the accomplishment, Davinder Gill, CEO – Hilleman Laboratories, said: “With the advancement of Hillchol TM, we hope to make available to the global health community an affordable vaccine for mass vaccination in hot spots against cholera-endemic countries.”

According to the WHO, cholera is endemic in over 50 countries, with estimated mortality of 100,000-120,000 deaths annually and morbidity of 3.8-4.4 million annual cases attributed to this disease.