Our Mission

Our Mission

The way forward for vaccine development

TOVA Initiative has set its goal to take at least one vaccine candidate to Phase I trials by 2022.

Prepative work has included

  1. Mathematical modelling of vaccine efficacy design of control programmes, and cost-effectiveness.
  2. Systems analysis to identify specific molecular interactions between parasite and host to idenify immne correlates of protection  and assist formulation of the vaccine for maximum efficacy, and avoid adverse reactions.
  3. Efficacy trials using the O ochengi cattle model under conditions of natural exposure.

The next steps (Table 2) will involve

  1. Vaccine manufacture in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice and WHO and national regulatory processes.
  2. Toxicology testing of vaccines to comply with WHO and national regulatory processes.
  3. Phase Ia, first-in-human safety trials involving person who have not been exposed to onchocerciasis or related infections.
  4. Phase Ib, human safety trials involving persons living in onchocercais endemic regions and therfore exposed to infection.
  5. Imunological profiling of pre-school children to assess immune responses in those exposed to O volvulus infections and in preparation for phase II trials
  6. Imunological profiling of pre-school children to assess immune responses following exposure to co-infection with O volvulus and Loa loa.
  7. Investigation of social and cultural attitudes of vaccination and which may influence and uptake of a vaccine.
  8. Mathematical assessment of vaccine efficacy and economic benefit of vaccination.
Table 2, Milestones en route to an onchocerciasis vaccine