American Leprosy Missions is committed to bringing an END to leprosy by developing a leprosy vaccine that will stop this terrible disease before it even starts.
In 2002, American Leprosy Missions began a partnership with the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) in Seattle, Washington to develop a vaccine for leprosy.
An investment of 20 years and more than $6 million has resulted in LepVax: a vaccine that finished Phase 1a clinical safety trials in healthy human volunteers and is headed into Phase 1b/2a among people most at risk.
You have the exciting opportunity to partner with us to make a lasting difference in the world by opening the door to finally stopping this devastating disease.
Why is a leprosy vaccine needed?
- This ancient disease is still disabling and isolating people.
- Every TWO MINUTES someone is diagnosed with leprosy.
- More than FOUR MILLION people in the world suffer from leprosy-related disabilities.
- An effective vaccine will limit infection, prevent disease and reduce transmission.
- A vaccine is the only way to end this terrible disease.
- LepVax is the first leprosy-specific vaccine to go through Phase I clinical trials.
- We believe this vaccine will be an exciting new way to STOP the transmission of leprosy and the only way to PROTECT people from the disease long term.
- What’s more, the vaccine may protect against nerve damage, the most serious complication of leprosy.
- The vaccine has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Progress and next steps
August 2017: Approved by Food and Drug Administration
October 2017: Started Phase Ia clinical trial
August 2019: Completed Phase Ia clinical trial
2020–2021: COVID-19 delay
2021-2023: Two-year Phase Ib/2a clinical trial in Brazil
Read more about the clinical trials and the results from Phase Ia.
Leprosy vaccine in the news
- Nature, March 28, 2018 – LepVax, a defined subunit vaccine that provides effective pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis of M. leprae infection
- Markets Insider, October 12, 2017 – Promising New Leprosy Vaccine Moves into Human Trials
- Wisconsin State Journal, October 12, 2017 – Covance site of first human study of vaccine for leprosy