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Hepatitis C

Medical Need

Three per cent of the global population are carriers of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which affects the liver cells and is the leading cause of liver transplants in the US.

Around 170 million people have the chronic form of the disease which may lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.

Extensive variations of the virus present major challenges to the development of a vaccine - there is currently no vaccine for either the prevention (prophylactic vaccine) or the treatment (therapeutic vaccine) of HCV

Source: www.who.int/csr/disease/hepatitis/Hepc.pdf

Background and Rationale for a T cell HCV vaccine

Extensive research has shown that a strong, broad and lasting T-cell response is required in order to clear HCV. Such T-cell responses have been characterised in the small percentage of humans who are able to clear HCV following acute infection.

Our research has shown that we are able to stimulate robust T-cell responses that provide 100% protection in preclinical non-human primate models. We have also shown in human clinical studies that the strength of the T-cell response is much higher than that observed in individuals who are able to spontaneously clear acute HCV infections. We are leveraging this data to develop a prophylactic and a therapeutic HCV vaccine, both of which are in clinical development.