MinervaX Commences First Phase 1 Clinical Study of Novel GBS Vaccine in Older Adults

pharmafile | April 17, 2023 | News story | Business Services  

Copenhagen, Denmark, 17 April 2023 – MinervaX ApS, a privately held Danish biotechnology company developing a novel vaccine against Group B Streptococcus (GBS), announces the first phase 1 clinical study in older adults of its novel GBS vaccine, at CEVAC (Centre for Vaccinology) in Ghent, Belgium.

GBS is a global unmet medical burden and can cause serious illness in people of all ages, worldwide. It is normally associated with infection in pregnant women and new-born babies; however, invasive GBS disease in adults has been increasing over the last 40 years. The older adult population (>65 years of age) and adults with underlying chronic health conditions (diabetes mellitus, cancer, immune suppression, obesity) are at particular risk of invasive GBS disease. There is currently no vaccine available.

The clinical study will investigate the safety and immunogenicity of two dose levels on the MinervaX novel GBS vaccine in an older adult population from 55 to 75 years of age, with and without underlying medical conditions. The trial will investigate the safety and immune response to the dose level currently under development for use in pregnant women (50 μg of each fusion protein) and a higher dose of 125 μg of each fusion protein. Since older adults, certainly those with comorbidities, often mount a less strong immune response than a younger population, up to three doses will be investigated in this trial [clinicaltrials.gov under the identifier NCT05782179].

MinervaX has completed enrolment and dosing of its 2nd phase II clinical trial of its novel GBS vaccine in pregnant women across Denmark, the UK and South Africa. Details of MinervaX’s ongoing clinical trials can be found at clinicaltrials.gov under the identifiers NCT04596878 and NCT05154578.

Lidia Oostvogels, Chief Medical Officer of MinervaX, said: “Expanding the development of our GBS vaccine for use in an older adult population, including people with increased risk for GBS due to underlying co-morbidities, is a very important step for MinervaX in the battle against this pathogen. This builds on our efforts and experience to develop a product to provide protection to the most vulnerable populations, i.e., neonates in our maternal immunization program, and now older adults including those with certain co-morbid conditions.”

Prof. Isabel Leroux-Roels, Principal Investigator at CEVAC, commented: “GBS is known to cause potentially life-threatening infections in Older Adults and currently there is no vaccine available to prevent this. All the team at CEVAC are very happy to contribute to the development of this vaccine for this high-risk population.”


Prof. Paul Heath, Director of the St George’s Vaccine Institute, London and Lead Investigator of MinervaX’s Phase IIb study across Denmark, the UK and South Africa, remarked: “Streptococcus agalactiae is a common commensal in humans and approximately 25% of all adults will be colonised with GBS in the gastrointestinal or genitourinary tracts at any given time. We are aware of the considerable global burden of this invasive GBS disease in babies and pregnant women and of the urgent need for a vaccine to prevent this. More recently, we have become aware of the burden of GBS in non-pregnant adults, particularly in older adults, and those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes mellitus. There is no current mechanism for preventing GBS disease in this growing population, and there is a well recognised morbidity and mortality. The need for a vaccine for this group of people is therefore urgent and the commencement of GBS vaccine trials in this population is therefore an important and welcome development.”

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