Crohn’s MAP Vaccine is an awareness and support group comprised of members of the Crohn’s Community. Our mission is to find a cure for Crohn’s Disease. We believe the best hope for that cure lies in the Vaccine and new diagnostic test developed by Prof. Hermon-Taylor...
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is a debilitating and aggressive form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It affects around 5 million worldwide, including 1.2 million in the USA and over 100,000 in the UK –and numbers are increasing, especially in children. Symptoms include chronic severe abdominal pain, weight loss, bloody diarrhoea and fatigue. Up to 80% of patients will need surgery at some point in their lifetime. There is currently no cure and the lives of most sufferers are blighted by multiple hospitalisations, surgeries, immunosuppressive therapies (and their side effects) and difficulty holding down a job or attending school.
The Research: Professor John Hermon-Taylor (King’s College London) is an expert in Crohn’s Disease who has been researching its cause for over thirty years. He strongly believes that Crohn’s Disease is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) – a distant cousin of Tuberculosis. Controversially, MAP is most commonly passed to humans through cow’s milk. Dr Burrill Crohn (1884-1983) himself, who gave his name to the disease, suspected that Crohn’s might have a mycobacterial cause -but he could not prove it with the scientific equipment of his era. Professor Hermon-Taylor has invented a modern therapeutic vaccine against MAP which he believes holds the best hope of a cure for Crohn’s that there has ever been. It is designed to stimulate the body’s own immune system to selectively eliminate MAP-infected cells. Animal studies in mice and in cattle have shown it to be highly effective against MAP with no obvious adverse effects.
A Phase I trial of the vaccine in healthy human volunteers has now been completed by The Jenner Institute, Oxford. They have allowed us to share this statement about the trial: 'The Phase I trial was completed with no concerns over safety. As it was the first trial of this vaccine in people, a standard '3+3 dose escalation design' was used to allow us to start with a very low dose for the first few volunteers and then gradually increase the dose once we were sure that there were no safety concerns. All doses were well tolerated, immunogenicity looks very promising and the study is being written up for publication. We would like to thank the healthy volunteers who took part in this Phase I study, without whom it wouldn't be possible to develop important new therapies.'
A Phase IIa trial of the Vaccine in patients with Crohn's disease (assessing safety and immunogenicity in CD patients) is due to start shortly.
An essential element of this trial is a 'companion diagnostic test' - a simple test for MAP in blood and tissues - on which work is nearing completion at King's College London. This will allow doctors to tell which patients have MAP and to monitor patients' responses to the vaccine. The test also enables MAP to be seen in the tissues of people with Crohn's disease for the very first time - something scientists have been trying to achieve for decades - and may be the making of medical history.
Thanks to your support, we have raised the funds to complete the development of the new MAP test vital for the trial of the Crohn's Vaccine in humans. This work is currently ongoing at King's College London.
The milestones we have achieved are:
£70,000 (Nov 8th 2014)
£120,000 (May 31st 2015)
£170,000 (Aug 31st 2015)
£470,000 (Jan 2017)
We are now aiming to raise a further £115,000 to support the laboratory at KCL in running MAP testing of patients during the Phase IIa trial of the Vaccine.
For full details of the funding for the new MAP test and the Vaccine, please visit our website: http://crohnsmapvaccine.com/funding-for-the-map-test-and-vaccine-explained/
If you support us, this is how your money would be spent:
Every £5000 enables the research team to pay for:
- 1 month’s salary of their excellent research scientist OR
- 2 month’s salary of a lab technician they would really like to appoint OR
- 3 months worth of reagents and laboratory consumables OR
- Open access to core scientific facilities such as super-resolution microscopy, advanced laser-capture microdissection, flow cytometry, proteomics and genomics and advanced image analysis software.
In other words, your money would go directly to the research itself. There are NO ADMINISTRATION COSTS as these are funded by the University, not the Crohn’s Fund.
Every penny counts and no donation is too small! Help raise awareness:
- Like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crohnsmapvaccine
- Follow us on twitter: @CrohnsVaccine
- Get involved! Join our fabulous team of Crohnie Heroes at: https://www.facebook.com/CrohnsMAPVaccineHeroes
Together we can make this happen!
Amy and the Crohn's MAP Vaccine team.