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IDRI Collaborates with the Brazilian Butantan Institute To Develop Novel Vaccines Against Leishmaniasis
Date:1/22/2009

SEATTLE, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- IDRI (Infectious Disease Research Institute) announced it has granted the Instituto Butantan, a Brazilian biomedical research institution, an exclusive license in Latin America and a non-exclusive license in the rest of the world to use two of IDRI's lead vaccine antigen candidates for the prevention and treatment of leishmaniasis in humans and dogs. IDRI will provide technical assistance to the Instituto Butantan for the development and evaluation of the candidate vaccines, and if the trials are successful, IDRI's manufacturing technology and know-how will be transferred to Brazil, where the vaccines will be produced. Under the agreement IDRI will receive royalty payments on future product sales that will assist IDRI's non-profit research and development activities. Further details on the financial terms were not disclosed.

Leishmaniasis is a widespread parasitic illness that has caused epidemics in India, Africa, Latin America and along the Mediterranean coast. Leishmania parasites are transmitted to humans through the bite of infected sandflies. Visceral leishmaniasis, the most severe form of the disease, causes fatal infections of internal organs, while the cutaneous form causes serious disfiguring skin lesions. About 500,000 new cases of visceral leishmaniasis occur each year, and 10% of these patients, who are mostly children, will die.

"For too long, the world has virtually ignored the dramatic burden of leishmaniasis on poor populations and limited efforts have been dedicated to the research of new tools against the disease. Today, we still don't have an effective vaccine to protect people and current treatments are either toxic, difficult to deliver, or prohibitively expensive," said Dr. Isaias Raw, President, Instituto Butantan, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

This agreement is the result of several years of collaborative research between IDRI and Instituto Buta
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SOURCE Infectious Disease Research Institute
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