Microbiome biopharmaceutical company Immuron (ASX: IMC) reported its commercially available Travelan had performed well during United States Department of Defense testing, with the product reacting to 180 infectious bacterial strains from South East Asia.
Travelan contains a rich antibodies and is marketed at travellers for prevention of travellers diarrhoea, Delhi Belly, Montezuma’s Revenge, Tourist Trot, Rangoon Runs that can be contracted from eating or drinking contaminated food or water, particularly in developing countries.
The US Department of Defense commissioned the study which was carried out in Bangkok, Thailand. The study investigated the immune-reactivity of Travelan on Campylobacter, Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Shigella bacteria.
Clinical isolates taken from infected patients across South East Asia between 1993 and 2016 were tested with Travelan. Researchers measured the impact of Travelan antibodies on the infectious bacterial strains.
The product was also found to react to 180 clinical isolates from the infected individuals.
According to Immuron, Travelan product’s ability to bind and neutralise bacteria, highlights its effectiveness against potentially harmful bacteria.
“We are pleased to see that Travelan, a product that has achieved significant sales growth, has proven its reactivity to a multitude of clinically relevant bacterium strains within South East Asia,” Immuron chief executive officer Dr Jerry Kanellos said.
Dr Kanellos added this was the first of three research projects to be undertaken with the US Department of Defense, with further results expected in the coming months.
“Travelan’s reactivity to various forms of these infectious diseases makes it a valuable asset to foreign government officials looking to protect employees stationed in these regions, as well as consumers who want to preserve their health while travelling abroad,” Dr Kanellos said.
He pointed out that government and international company uptake of Travelan would pose a “significant” revenue opportunity for Immuron in addition to consumer sales.
The US Department of Defense is currently focused on providing its employees with a prophylactic treatment that can prevent diseases caused by infectious bacteria while travelling, with Shigella, alone estimated to cause 165 million disease cases globally and 600,000 deaths a year.
Immuron’s share price shot up in intraday trade before settling up 21% at A$0.28 by late afternoon.