Vaccine shows promise for preventing active TB disease

Grant Boone
October 30, 2019

At present, Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, which was developed in 1921, is given to children to prevent the infection in many countries, including India, which reports the maximum number of TB cases every year. I want to thank our scientists for their dedicated effort and scientific innovation in developing this impactful vaccine candidate in partnership with IAVI and other key organisations. The study said among adults infected with TB, vaccination with M72/AS01E elicited an immune response and provided protection against progression to pulmonary tuberculosis diseases for at least three years.

In September 2018, an global group of researchers published their initial findings, including that the vaccine was 54% effective in preventing latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis from progressing to the active form of the disease in young and middle-aged adults. It was tested in 11 sites, in Kenya, South Africa and Zambia. This current analysis, they said, is the final efficacy and safety analyses following 3 years of follow-up. In the final analysis, it was found that 13 participants developed active TB while others did not.

The investigators noted that the final findings did not confirm initial findings that suggested the vaccine might be more effective in those age 25 or younger. It is the first vaccine in the world that can, ostensibly, provide protection, safety, immunogenicity and efficacy.

World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics show that 9.6 million people are suffering from TB, of which 2.2 million cases are reported in India, where incidence of multi-drug resistant TB is high.

Researchers who were not involved in the vaccine's development were enthusiastic about the latest results, but said it needed to be studied in more people and in different populations.

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Thomas Breuer, MD, MSc, chief medical officer of GSK Vaccines, said today in a news release, "These results demonstrate that for the first time in nearly a century, the global community potentially has a new tool to help provide protection against TB".

"Without a more effective vaccine, it will not be possible to achieve the World Health Organization target of decreasing the number of new cases by 90% and the number of TB deaths by 95% between 2015 and 2035", said GSK in a statement.

"We are one more cautious, but exciting, step closer to a vaccine for tuberculosis", said Paula Fujiwara, scientific director of the Paris-based International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.

TB vaccine Phase IIbtrial results encouraging: GSK Hyderabad, Oct 29 (PTI) Drug major GSK and theInternational AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) on Tuesday saidthe former's vaccine candidate significantly reduced incidenceof pulmonary tuberculosis disease (TB) in HIV-negative adultswith latent TB infection. "We can not end the TB emergency unless we dramatically scale up prevention in those parts of the world where we are treating it".

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