Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., and Oxford partnership developing TB vaccine

By applying the industrial experience of Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., and the knowledge and expertise of researchers at the University of Oxford, the Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium has found success in developing the MVA85A tuberculosis vaccine.

In 2008, the OETC was established by the University of Oxford and Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., to continue to develop the most advanced new vaccine for tuberculosis prevention. The formation of this joint venture allowed for the combination of intellectual property, clinical TB vaccine expertise and vaccine materials from the university with the funding, product development expertise and manufacturing capability of Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., Isis Insights reports.

The need for a new TB vaccine is great as current drugs and vaccines have failed to control the pandemic, according to Isis Insights. There are also increasing levels of drug resistance being seen in clinics.

The MVA85A vaccine was created at Oxford’s Jenner Institute in 2000 and began clinical trials in 2002 and 2008. While the vaccine was found to generate a healthy immune response and was well-tolerated and safe, it needed to pass the roadblocks of a large clinical efficacy trial and a new manufacturing process to meet global demand. The demand for the MVA85A vaccine could exceed 100 million doses a year.

The partnership between the university and Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., on MVA85A has been largely successful and productive as the enrollment in the infant efficacy study is almost complete and a study in HIV infected adults will start shortly, Isis Insights reports. A new manufacturing process at a cGMP facility has also been making progress.

OETC hopes that it will continue to succeed in this process to create the first new TB vaccine to be marketed in over eight decades.