Connaught Laboratories Inc. announced the initiation of Phase IIIclinical trials of its vaccine for preventing lyme disease. The trial willbe conducted in five states where lyme disease is endemic:Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin.Connaught's vaccine is made at the company's Swiftwater, Pa.,facilities using technology developed by Symbicom AB of Sweden, acompany spokesman said.Based on recombinant technology, Connaught's vaccine replicates aprotein from the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete that causes lymedisease. The protein, called outer surface protein A or OspA, stimulatesan immune response in the body.Some 8,000 volunteers will participate in the trial. One group will beinjected with the vaccine, while the second group will receive aplacebo in a double-blind trial.Connaught said its vaccine has proved 100 percent effective in animalstudies. Results of the Phase III trial are expected to be released in1995.Connaught claims to offer the broadest range of human vaccines andbiologicals commercially available from any single U.S. company. It isowned by Pasteur Merieux Serums et Vaccins S.A. of France. Pasteuris in the process of being acquired by Rhone-Poulenc S.A., which inOctober 1993 announced plans to raise its stake in Pasteur from 51percent to 100 percent.Philippa Maister

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