by Christina England
June 9, 2011
Yesterday Reuters reported US Merck and Co have taken the very unusual step of discontinuing vaccine trials for Intercell’s MRSA vaccine. The decision was taken after experts advised the V710 vaccine was ‘unlikely to show a significant clinical benefit and expressed concerns about overall mortality and multi-organ dysfunction.’
The vaccine was set to have potential sales of more than $1.47 billion because it was to be a multi-flexible vaccine which could have been used for patients on admission to hospital, during surgery and in care homes for the elderly.
Reuters reported in a press release today:
“Merck is due to present the final detailed findings of the clinical trial at an upcoming medical meeting, the two groups said in a statement.
“This is a significant setback for Intercell, and was the most eagerly anticipated stock catalyst, with V710 seen as potential validation of the company’s technology,” analysts at Jefferies said in a note.”
MRSA, which stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of infectious bacterium resistant to the antibiotic methicillin and other related antibiotics of the penicillin class. MRSA infections can be very serious and lead to death although some patients have MRSA on their skin or nose without it doing them any harm.
The numbers of deaths from MRSA, often called the ‘super bug’ have been soaring around the world for many years. In February 2011, CareMans Weblog reported that there were more deaths in the USA in 2005 from MRSA than from HIV Aids and said: