Second phase of TB vaccine clinical trials set

Officials with the Dutch biopharmaceutical company Crucell N.V. and the Areas Global TB Vaccine Foundation announced this week they will begin the second phase of clinical trials for a jointly-developed tuberculosis vaccine candidate.

Officials told that the primary goal of the upcoming trial of AERAS-402/Crucell Ad35 is to test the safety and efficiency of the TB vaccine candidate in infants who were previously vaccinated with Bacille Calmette-Gu-rin. That vaccine is the only one currently licensed to help prevent TB.

The first half of the clinical trial will take place in Kenya and will determine the optimal dosing regiment, officials told The selected regimen will be tested in the second half of the trial in Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique.

Jim Connolly, president and CEO of the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, said that he is excited about the upcoming trials.  

“Despite the availability of the BCG vaccine, two million men, women and children die from tuberculosis every year," Connoly told "We urgently need a new TB vaccine to ensure long-term and effective TB protection. This clinical trial represents an important step in our collaboration among a global network of researchers and the people of Kenya, who continue to be at high-risk for TB infection.”

Jaap Goudsmit, Crucell's chief scientific officer, said he is also looking forward to the upcoming clinical trials.

“I am extremely pleased at the pace in which our work to develop a next generation vaccine against TB is progressing,” Goudsmit told “Our successful collaboration with Aeras, enabling the initiation of yet another Phase II study, is an important step towards our ambition of reducing the global burden of this fatal disease.”

Aeras and Crucell began jointly developing the vaccine candidate in 2004.