Astellas, UTokyo To Collaborate On Cholera Vaccine

The partnership will develop a rice-based oral vaccine against cholera and E. coli-related diarrheal diseases.

AsianScientist (Jun. 30, 2016) – The Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo (IMSUT) and Astellas Pharma Inc. have agreed to collaborate on the development of a rice-based oral vaccine.

MucoRice-CTB (MucoRice), which vaccinates against cholera and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli-related diarrheal diseases, was developed by Professor Hiroshi Kiyono, project researcher Dr. Yoshikazu Yuki and their colleagues at the University of Tokyo’s International Research Development Center for Mucosal Vaccines.

In developing countries, diarrhea caused by pathogenic bacteria such as Vibrio cholerae and E. coli is one of the major causes of death among infants. At present, challenges linked to the use of cholera vaccines in developing countries include the need for cold chain and their ineffectiveness against enterotoxigenic E. coli.

MucoRice is stable at room temperature and easily produced, unlike existing cholera vaccines. With support from the Japanese government, an investigator-initiated Phase I trial of this vaccine is nearing completion at the IMSUT hospital in Japan.

Under the contract, IMSUT is responsible for providing clinical trial materials and trial data and Astellas is responsible for conducting and managing the trials.


Source: University of Tokyo; Photo: Shutterstock.
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