The Experimental Human Pneumococcal Carriage (EHPC)
The Experimental Human Pneumococcal Carriage (EHPC) Consortium, funded for 5 years by the Medical Research Council (MRC), will make use of studies in healthy volunteers and patients with increased risk of pneumococcal disease to understand why some people are protected against pneumococcal carriage and others are not. We have developed a method, unique in the world, for inoculating humans safely with live bacteria in order to establish carriage experimentally and have now tested it in over 1000 subjects without adverse effects.
Testing new vaccines using EHPC can be done more quickly and at a fraction of the cost of clinical studies (100 subjects rather than many thousands) and so several vaccines can be tested during this Programme, in parallel with the discovery science. This Programme also offers an opportunity for partnership with commercial entities or charities sponsoring particular new vaccines and these funding options will be explored with MRC.