With a view to the upcoming results of the Bilhvax 3 study "a vaccine against bilharziosis”, conducted for the past 5 years by researchers from the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Senegal, the Principality of Monaco has just hosted the 5th steering committee for this project during which the future of the vaccine was discussed.
On Friday 7th October 2011, in the presence of Mr José Badia, Minister for External Relations, the Co-Presidents of the Steering Committee, Professor André Syrota, CEO of Inserm, and Ms Majdouline Sbaï, Vice-President of the North-Pas de Calais Regional Council, the last committee meeting was held prior to obtaining the results from the many years of research conducted by INSERM to develop a vaccine against bilharziosis.
Bilharziasis which, after malaria, is the most widespread parasitic disease in the world, chiefly affects the developing countries. Over 200 million people are chronic sufferers of the disease and 300,000 die from it every year. The Bilhvax vaccine should limit the horrendous pathological consequences in the long term.
Supported by the Government of Monaco since 2008 as part of its development cooperation policy via an international partnership, the Bilhvax 3 study is the final phase of the potential future vaccine. The clinical trials, carried out in the Saint Louis region in Senegal, have assessed the therapeutic efficiency of the vaccine among 250 children aged between 6 and 9.
The North-Pas de Calais Regional Council has been involved in research for therapeutic and preventive solutions for bilharziosis in close cooperation with INSERM for 20 years. This support is in line with the strategy for international solidarity and the development of expertise in the North-Pas de Calais region as far as scientific research is concerned.
The steering committee provided the opportunity to commend the efforts undertaken over the past 25 years by French, Belgian and Senegalese researchers, as well as to discuss with all the partners concerned the future of the vaccine so that it can benefit the populations affected in the shortest time possible.
For further information:
Aurélie Deléglise -Tel. +33 3 20 29 86 72 - + 33 6 77 05 07 76
Office of International Cooperation – Tel. +377 98 98 87 89
Regional Council Press Department
Antoine SIEMINSKI - Tel. +33 3 28 82 53 12