Adjuvant performs well in phase III hepatitis B vaccine study

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Corixa Corp. and Rhein Biotech NV said on Tuesday that late-stage trials of their combination hepatitis B vaccine showed that the product provided better protection than the use of Rhein Biotech's vaccine alone.

The vaccine includes Corixa's RC-529 synthetic adjuvant in combination with Rhein Biotech's Hansenula polymorpha-based recombinant hepatitis B antigen, an active ingredient of commercially approved hepatitis B vaccines.

"The results of the study confirm our expectations of being able to reduce the amount of injections needed for full protection against hepatitis B infection from three doses to two,'' Dr. Zbigniew Janowicz, vice president of research and development of Rhein Biotech, said in a statement.

"This improved vaccine will be very important for vaccination of travelers, healthcare professionals, patients undergoing surgery, and other people who need fast protection against hepatitis B," Dr. Janowicz added.

The study showed that 95.5% of patients were protected after two immunizations with Rhein Biotech's vaccine combined with Corixa's RC-529 compared with 82.1% using the vaccine alone.

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