Trial Results Of First New TB Vaccine Candidate In 90 Years Expected Next Year

“Researchers will find out early next year whether the first new vaccine against tuberculosis [TB] for 90 years protects against a disease that was once neglected but is now resurgent worldwide,” Financial Times reports. “Helen McShane, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, said on Monday that clinical trial results of the MVA85A vaccine — developed in her laboratory over 10 years at a cost of £30 million [$48 million] — would be known in the first quarter of 2013,” the newspaper writes (Cookson, 10/15). “Today, most babies in the world are immunized with the old Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, first used in 1921,” PlusNews/IRIN writes. “Oxford’s vaccine, known as MVA85A, is designed to boost the effects of BCG,” the news service adds (10/16).

“MVA85A is the most advanced of a dozen TB vaccines being developed around the world, as governments and charities increase investment in the fight against a disease estimated to have killed 1.45 million people in 2010,” according to the Financial Times (10/16). “After decades of neglect, the world is seeing a flurry of activity around the development of new TB vaccines, reflecting increased interest and funding from donors such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the British and Dutch governments,” PlusNews notes (10/16). “Increasingly concerned over the rise of drug resistant tuberculosis, [experts] in the field have long insisted that success in tackling the resurgence of the illness will depend on access to a better vaccine,” BMJ writes (Watts, 10/16).