Tampere, Finland – Vactech Oy (Vactech), a biotechnology company focused on development of vaccines for Type 1 Diabetes and other immune mediated diseases, today announced that a Coxsackievirus B vaccine protects against virus-induced diabetes in an experimental mouse model of Type 1 Diabetes and the research results has been published in the scientific journal of Diabetologia, February 2018, Volume 61, Issue 2,  pp 476–481.

The study was carried out in collaboration between Vactech, University of Tampere, Finland, and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Publication: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-017-4492-z/fulltext.html


Previous studies have shown that Vactech’s formalin-inactivated Coxsackievirus B (CVB) vaccine efficiently prevents CVB infection in mice.  The aim of the present study was to test whether this kind of vaccine can also prevent virus-induced diabetes.


NOD and SOCS1-tg mice were vaccinated three times with either a formalin-inactivated CVB1 vaccine or a buffer control. Serum was collected for measurement of neutralising antibodies using a virus neutralisation assay. Vaccinated and buffer-treated mice were infected with CVB1. Viraemia and viral replication in the pancreas were measured using standard plaque assay and PCR. The development of diabetes was monitored by blood glucose measurements. Histological analysis and immunostaining for viral capsid protein 1 (VP1), insulin and glucagon in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded pancreas was performed.


The CVB1 vaccine induced strong neutralising antibody responses and protected against viraemia and the dissemination of virus to the pancreas. Conversely, 100% of the buffer-treated mice were viraemic on day 3 post infection. Furthermore, half of the buffer-treated mice developed diabetes upon infection with CVB1, with a loss of the insulin-positive beta cells and damage to the exocrine pancreas. In contrast, all vaccinated mice were protected from virus-induced diabetes and showed no signs of beta cell loss or pancreas destruction (p < 0.05).

"The vaccine was produced using the same formalin-inactivation technology as in Vactech’s previous studies. The vaccine prevented completely both the spread of the virus to the pancreas and the subsequent development of diabetes in mice. This study provided an important preclinical proof of concept for the efficacy and safety of this vaccine in the prevention of virus-induced diabetes.", said MD, Ph.D Heikki Hyöty, Chairman of the Vactech Board and Senior Adviser.

About Vactech

Vactech develops and licenses vaccines and novel technologies for vaccines and diagnostics with a pipeline of early stage product candidates focused on Type 1 Diabetes, Celiac Disease, Asthma & Allergy and diagnostics. 

Vactech’s flagship project is a patented enterovirus based preventive Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) vaccine, similar to the widely used enterovirus vaccine against polio. The vaccine is a traditional inactivated vaccine and it has been proved to be safe and effective in mice. In addition, Vactech’s IMAVAC™ product line uses Virus Like Particle (VLP) technology which is essential for other vaccines, immunomodulators and diagnostic applications.

Vactech is a privately owned company. We have a track record of collaboration with both industrial and academic partners. Vactech has engaged in strategic partnership with Provention Bio Inc. especially in the field of preventive Type 1 Diabetes vaccine and related applications.

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Please see the company's website at www.vactech.fi for additional information or contact:

Raimo Harju, CEO