PDPs agree to jointly develop new TB vaccine candidate

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Aeras and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) – two non-profit product development partnerships (PDPs) – announced Wednesday they will be joining together to develop IDRI’s novel tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidate ID93/GLA-SE. The compound contains an IDRI-designed recombinant fusion-protein antigen (a protein substance foreign to the body that stimulates the immune system’s production of antibodies to fight off the antigen) and IDRI’s proprietary adjuvant GLA (which “enhances” the vaccine recipient’s immune response to the antigen). GLA was previously tested in humans but has not been used in any other TV vaccines currently in clinical development.

“The vaccine candidate targets both active tuberculosis, which affects nearly 9 million people each year, and latent TB, which lies dormant but can make people sick when their immune systems are compromised,” according to an Aeras press release.  “IDRI anticipates that the vaccine may be used to protect individuals prophylactically, with or without BCG vaccination, or therapeutically in combination with anti-tuberculosis drugs in patients with active infection.”

The only TB vaccine currently available is the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, which was developed 90 years ago, is only effective in young children and does not protect against pulmonary TB.  

A Phase I study of ID93/GLA-SE is planned for later this year to assess the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine in healthy participants.

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