By Kathleen Berger, Executive Producer for Science & Technology, HEC-TV | June 26, 2022
Omniose, a St. Louis startup at BioSTL, receives $3 million dollars in federal funding to advance a vaccine for a potentially deadly infection. Group B Streptococcus (GBS), or group B strep, is an invasive bacterial infection that’s on the radar of OB-GYNs and pediatricians when pregnant women are close to giving birth.
“GBS is a leading cause of neonatal disease,” said Christian Harding, PhD, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Omniose.
GBS is linked to nearly 150,000 infant deaths worldwide each year. Pregnant women can pass the bacteria to their babies during delivery, and even before. Group B strep also causes an estimated 46,000 stillbirths worldwide each year. Omniose’s research and development for a maternal vaccine targeting group B strep is advancing with the three-year, $3 million federal contract for the research and development of a vaccine for group B strep.
Group B strep is also a leading cause of invasive infection in older adults, ages 65 and older.