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Are you 60 years of age or older? Help us find a way to prevent infections of the blood.

A clinical research study to evaluate an investigational vaccine in adults 60 years of age or older is now enrolling.
About the E.mbrace Study

The E.mbrace Study will assess the safety and effectiveness of an investigational vaccine in the prevention of blood infections in adults 60 years of age or older. These blood infections can lead to serious complications such as dangerously low blood pressure or shock.

These infections are called an invasive (also known as systemic) infection, often referred to as an invasive E. coli disease (IED). 1 Although IED affects all ages, adults aged 60 years and older have an increased risk of developing IED, which is further increased if you have had a urinary tract infection (UTI) in the past.

What we learn in this study may be helpful for blood infection prevention in the future.


Who can participate in this study?

You may be eligible to participate in the E.mbrace Study if you:

  • Are aged 60 or over
  • Have had a UTI during the past 2 years
  • Feel comfortable, or have a caregiver who is comfortable, using an application on a smartphone

Additional eligibility criteria will be assessed by the study team. 

What can participants expect?

If you are found eligible to participate in the E.mbrace Study, on Day 1 you will receive the investigational vaccine or placebo (a vaccine that contains no active drug) in a single injection. You will also complete a minimum of 8 study visits, some in person and some remote via telephone. The study involves a commitment of approximately 3 years. The type of consultations you attend, whether in-person or remote, will be determined by the study team. Your study team will keep you up-to-date regarding the consultations and any other contact required for your participation.

Study participants and/or their caregiver will be required to use a smartphone application to record and share information with their study team.

Find a study location

If you are interested in participating in the E.mbrace Study, please contact your nearest study location for more information.

What is vaccination and why is it important?

Vaccination is a way of helping to prevent a disease or lessen its effects in people who haven’t been exposed to it before. It makes your immune system stronger, using your body’s natural defences to help build resistance to specific infections. Most vaccines are given by an injection, but some are given orally (by mouth) or sprayed into the nose.

What is a Clinical Research Study?

A clinical trial, also called a clinical research study, is a carefully designed scientific evaluation of an investigational medication or treatment. Clinical research studies are conducted by doctors and researchers. The results of clinical research help regulatory agencies like Medsafe decide whether an investigational drug should be approved and made available to patients. Clinical research studies are the only way we can develop new and better treatments and improve patient care. Clinical research studies are generally reviewed by an independent review board (IRB) or Ethics Committee (EC). The purpose of the IRB or EC review is to assure that appropriate steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of people participating in clinical research studies. Clinical research studies are conducted by experienced and trained medical professionals who monitor the health of the participants during the study.

The importance of diversity in clinical research studies

Research has shown that certain diseases, treatments and medications may affect people differently based on their age, gender and genetic background, including race and ethnicity. It is important to conduct research studies with diverse populations to help ensure that vaccines and medications are generally safe and effective (or that the benefits outweigh the risks) for the populations that will be using them.

Why is clinical research important?

Clinical studies often require a large number of volunteers to participate; sometimes thousands of participants are needed for a single study in order to obtain reliable information. This information is then submitted to Medsafe, the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority. Medsafe analyses the information in order to determine whether the medication is safe and effective, or whether the benefits outweigh the risks, before approving it for public use.

Frequently asked questions

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are bacteria commonly found in the human gut. Some strains of E. coli bacteria can also go into the urinary tract and cause a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a common type of infection that can be treated easily with antibiotics. Sometimes, though, the bacteria that caused the UTI can infect your blood. This condition is called urosepsis and can be life-threatening. Antibiotic resistance, meaning that there may be few or no effective antibiotics, is becoming more common and may lead to a greater risk for a blood infection.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) don’t always cause symptoms, but when they do, these may include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Urine that appears cloudy
  • Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-coloured – a sign of blood in the urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain, in women – especially in the centre of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone

Doctors and specialists will conduct the study on behalf of Janssen Research & Development (a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson), the sponsor of the E.mbrace Study.

Participating in any clinical study is completely voluntary. Your decision to participate – or not to participate – in this clinical study will have no effect on the medical care that you receive, either now or in the future. If you are eligible and choose to participate in the study, you may withdraw from the clinical study at any time, and for any reason.

Every clinical trial must be reviewed and continually monitored by an ethics committee to ensure that the risks to study participants are as low as possible. As a volunteer, you have the right to end your participation and withdraw from the study at any time and for any reason.

Qualified participants may receive the investigational vaccine or placebo and some study-required medical care at no cost. The study will not pay for other medical care or current medication(s) needed to support your daily health care routine.

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