2nd Valley Fever Vaccine Candidate Identified
Scientists with the Valley Fever Vaccine Project, administered by
California State University, Bakersfield Foundation announced today that
they are transitioning from the research phase to the development stage of
a valley fever vaccine. They also said they have identified a second
vaccine candidate that looks very promising.
The February announcement was welcome news to an area that has long been plagued by valley fever. And today's meeting means the project is one step closer to producing a vaccine, Hector said.
"We are most grateful for the work these scientists have done," said CSUB President Horace Mitchell. "This is an enormous body of work that these scientists have accomplished, When we began this project back in 1996 and '97, we hoped that we would be successful and dreamed that this moment would come. Our hopes have been realized, and our dreams have come true."
Since the beginning of the research project under the auspices of the CSUB Foundation in 1997, with its initial grant from the California HealthCare Foundation and an appropriation from the California Legislature, the researchers have been working towards the goal of moving potential vaccine candidates from the research phase to clinical trials.
Valley Fever is caused by a fungus, coccidioides immitis, which exists in the soil in various areas of the American Southwest, northern Mexico and Central and South America that have arid or semiarid conditions and hot summers with mild, non-freezing winters.
The disease has been recognized as a significant medical entity since the 1890s, and its association with the San Joaquin Valley, particularly Kern County, was realized during the first three decades of the 20th century.
The Valley Fever Vaccine Project began in 1997 after a major Valley Fever outbreak from 1991 through 1994 renewed interest in vaccine development. Members of the Bakersfield business and medical communities formed the Valley Fever Research Foundation to develop a plan to hasten vaccine development. They enlisted the Center for Biomedical Research at CSUB and its director, Duane Blume, to conduct a feasibility study on the potential for a vaccine. Blume's study concluded that prospects were excellent and would be greatly enhanced by a collaborative research program by the five leading scientists in Valley Fever research.
Contact: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456,
| Public Affairs Offices/Campus News
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