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H. pylori vaccine the target of $575,000 collaboration


Sudbury, ON – In a two-year, $575,000 agreement, researchers at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada (AMRIC) and Lilly Creek Vaccines are collaborating to develop a Helicobacter pylori vaccine.

Under the agreement, NRC’s Vaccine Program will design a candidate vaccine using glycoconjugate antigens that stimulate the immune system. NRC will also carry out preclinical testing to determine its efficacy. If results are positive, preclinical research and clinical trials in high-risk populations in northern Canada will be conducted by Lilly Creek Vaccines, a new venture created by AMRIC.

H. pylori infection causes gastritis in almost all cases, peptic ulcers in 10-15 percent of cases, and gastric cancer in about one percent of cases. A class 1 carcinogen, H. pylori increases the risk of gastric cancer sixfold.

Particularly at risk for H. pylori infections are Canada’s northern communities, where infection rates range from 50-60 percent compared to about 20-30 percent nationally. The parties hope to develop a vaccine that will eradicate H. pylori infection in Canada.

Located in Sudbury, AMRIC is the affiliated research institute of Health Sciences North hospital. Lilly Creek Vaccines is a for-profit company created by AMRIC Development Corporation to commercialize emerging vaccine technologies.

“NRC is a pioneer in glycoconjugate vaccines; we obtained the first patent in this field and discovered the Meningitis C vaccine, which has saved countless lives worldwide,” said Dr. Roman Szumski, vice-president, life sciences, NRC. “We are proud to work with Lilly Creek Vaccines to co-develop a vaccine against H. pylori that could improve health outcomes for Canadians, especially in our northern communities.”