Immuron says Travelan prevented clinical shigellosis in 75% of treated animals
Immuron provided an update on the company's cooperative research and development agreements with the US Department of Defense. The Shigella challenge model was used to assess the therapeutic potential of Travelan as a prevention treatment for shigellosis or dysentery. The placebo-controlled study was carried out in 12 juvenile rhesus monkeys segregated into 2 groups: a Travelan treatment cohort of 8 and a placebo cohort of 4, which were treated twice daily for a total of 12 doses over a 6-day period. The animals received treatment for 3-days prior to oral challenge with ~3 x 109 viable Shigella organisms. As reported in September last year, all placebo-treated animals displayed acute clinical signs of dysentery within 24 - 36 hours of Shigella challenge. Only two of the eight Travelan-treated group displayed any signs of dysentery. The remaining 6 of 8 of the Travelan-treated group remained healthy and without signs of dysentery post challenge. Recently completed histopathological analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the clinical disease and its effect on tissues of gut, revealed that all animals in the placebo-treated group displayed severe inflammation in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract. These animals also had very high levels of inflammatory cytokines in fecal samples collected throughout the study. The inflammation seen in the gastrointestinal tract and the increase in inflammatory cytokines in the feces were closely associated with the observed clinical outcomes of dysentery. Only 3 of the 8 Travelan-treated animals had signs of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, and only 2 of those had high levels of inflammatory cytokines in fecal samples. All other animals in the Travelan-treated group were clinically healthy and did not excrete any inflammatory cytokines. Overall the results suggest that Travelan is functionally cross-reactive and may have some prophylactic activity against Shigellosis. The abstract of the study findings has been submitted for presentation at the 10th International conference on Vaccines for Enteric Diseases which will be held at the University of Lausanne Switzerland on the 16th to 18th October 2019. The company is also pleased to report that it has completed the manufacture of three new Shigella specific therapeutic products which have been manufactured with proprietary vaccines developed by the WRAIR. Preliminary laboratory evaluation has indicated that all three products have generated a strong antibody response to the Shigella antigens used in the manufacturing campaign. The three products will be evaluated in preclinical models of shigellosis developed by the WRAIR.