Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in children under 5 years old, with an estimated 25 million outpatient visits and over 2 million hospitalizations attributable to rotavirus infections each year. Despite the availability and use of vaccines, rotavirus remains a significant cause of severe diarrhea. The virus is particularly prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, where it is responsible for 250 million episodes of diarrhea and 128,500 deaths annually.

A study estimated the rotavirus vaccines on the market saved almost 140,000 children from 2006 to 2019. These vaccines are highly effective against diarrhea of any severity in developed-world settings.  However, they are limited in protecting the children most in need due to their substantial decrease in effectiveness in low-income countries. Furthermore, there is a small increased risk of intussusception, a form of bowel obstruction that can cause serious damage to the intestines in vaccinated individuals. Its occurrence rate is between 1 and 7 cases per 100,000 doses in the 7 days following both the first and second doses.

In addition to these concerns, there are also programmatic issues such as a large cold-chain footprint and insufficient global vaccine supply. These factors highlight the inadequacy of the current vaccines and underscore the need for continued research and development in this area.

Impact Areas

Elarex is focused on some of the most important and deadly viruses.

Most of these have no vaccine or a vaccine that is difficult or costly to distribute due to the cold chain requirements.  A new vaccine that can be distributed outside of a cold chain, would make it easier to transport and store in low- and middle-income countries, which are some of the most affected regions by emerging viral diseases.  This could be a game-changer for small communities that are otherwise unreachable by vaccine drives.

Reaching these small communities is the difference between controlling a disease within the local area and a wide-scale outbreak that can affect tens of millions of people. By leaving no one unprotected, a thermostable vaccine alleviates the burden on these delicate health care systems. It is a breakthrough that allows the residents to thrive individually and collectively. Above all, it represents a significant step towards ending the global health threat posed by Ebola, Dengue, Rotavirus, and Lassa fever.


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