Oxford researchers granted almost £150,000 to help develop a novel vaccine against Meningitis B for children | Action Medical Research

Oxford researchers granted almost £150,000 to help develop a novel vaccine against Meningitis B for children

7 March 2011

Researchers in Oxford have just been awarded a grant of almost £150,000 by Action Medical Research – the leading UK-wide medical research charity dedicated to helping babies and children.

The charity has been supporting significant medical breakthroughs for nearly 60 years, and today announced its latest round of funding to top research institutes at universities and hospitals investigating conditions affecting babies and children.

In this latest round of funding, the charity has given £148,052 to the Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics and the Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, at the University of Oxford. Funding is for the pre-clinical development of a novel vaccine to prevent meningitis B infection in children.

Meningococcal bacteria are the leading cause of childhood meningitis and septicaemia in the UK, and vaccination is considered the best strategy for preventing the disease, disability and deaths associated with this infection in children. 

An estimated 5-10 per cent of people who suffer from meningococcal disease die, and up to 50 per cent of those with septicaemia (where the bacteria enter the bloodstream) will not survive.1  Those who survive the infection can be left with disabilities such as deafness and loss of limbs. 

The most common type of meningococcal bacteria in the UK is serogroup B meningococcus (MenB). Over 1,000 cases of MenB are reported every year in the UK1, but there is still no approved  MenB vaccine.1

Action Medical Research funds a total of approximately £3 million worth of research grants every year, with grant rounds in the spring and autumn.   As well as supporting project grants, the charity also awards Research Training Fellowships.

None of our work would be possible without the generosity of people who make donations, raise funds and take part in events, as well as our trust and corporate partners. Action Medical Research receives no income from the government or any other statutory source.

Dr Alexandra Dedman, Senior Research Evaluation Manager said: “At Action Medical Research we are determined to stop the suffering of babies and children caused by disease and disability, and meningitis is a truly devastating disease. We know that medical research can save and change children’s lives. The charity finds and funds some of the best medical research in the world for the benefit of babies, children and young people.

“Our gold standard scientific review process ensures that we only fund the best doctors and researchers in children’s hospitals, specialist units and universities across the UK and we are delighted to announce our latest grant awards.”

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NOTES TO EDITORS:

For further information please contact:

Claudine Powell, Communications Manager

T: 01403 327478

E: cpowell@action.org.uk

W: action.org.uk

Action Medical Researchis the leading UK-wide medical research charity dedicated to helping babies and children. We know that medical research can save and change children’s lives. For nearly 60 years we have been instrumental in significant medical breakthroughs, including the development of the UK polio vaccine and ultrasound scanning in pregnancy.

Today, we continue to find and fund the very best medical research to help stop the suffering of babies and children caused by disease and disability. We want to make a difference in:

  • tackling premature birth and treating sick and vulnerable babies
  • helping children affected by disability, disabling conditions and infections
  • targeting rare diseases that together severely affect many forgotten children.

References

1.Health Protection Agency. Meningococcal infection factsheet. http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/MeningococcalDisease/GeneralInformation/meninMeningococcalfactsheet/ Website accessed 4 February 2011.

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