HealthDay News — A bivalent meningococcal B vaccine targeting factor H-binding protein (MenB-FHbp) elicits bactericidal responses against diverse meningococcal B strains after 2 and 3 doses in adolescents and young adults, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Lars Ostergaard, MD, PhD, from the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues assessed the safety and immunogenicity of MenB-FHbp among 3596 adolescents who were randomized to receive MenB-FHbp or hepatitis A virus vaccine and saline, and 3304 young adults who were randomized to receive MenB-FHbp or saline at baseline, 2 months, and 6 months. Serum bactericidal assays that included human complement (hSBAs) were used to assess immunogenicity.

The researchers found that the percentage of adolescents with an increase in the hSBA titer by a factor of 4 or more against each primary strain varied from 56.0% to 85.3% after dose 2 and from 78.8% to 90.2% after dose 3, in the modified intention-to-treat population; for young adults the percentages varied from 54.6% to 85.6% after dose 2 and from 78.9% to 89.7% after dose 3. After doses 2 and 3, the composite responses were 53.7% and 82.7%, respectively, in adolescents, and 63.3% and 84.5%, respectively, in young adults.

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“We found that MenB-FHbp was safe and immunogenic after dose 2 and dose 3,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, which funded the study. Several authors also reported holding patents and having patents pending.

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Ostergaard L, Vesikari T, Absalon J, et al. A bivalent meningococcal B vaccine in adolescents and young adults. N Eng J Med. 2017; 377:2349-2362.