COPD vaccine shows promise in early trials

AUSTRALIAN clinical trials of an experimental vaccine that may reduce acute exacerbations of COPD are currently under way.

The oral vaccine confers protection against non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), which colonises the lungs and becomes a “second major pathway of damage in COPD”, Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy, from the department of immunology, Hunter Area Pathology Service, wrote in the MJA. 

Rising numbers of the bacteria can trigger an “excessive inflammatory response”, and early trials of the vaccine showed it could reduce hospital admissions among COPD patients and improve response to less intensive treatments.

Phase 2 trials of the vaccine are continuing at 21 centres across Australia.

Professor Clancy is employed by the company working on the vaccine technology and holds stock or options in the company.

MJA 2011; 195:99-100