Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., receives multi-year grant for TB vaccine candidate

Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., announced on Friday that it has received a multi-year grant to advance the development of the tuberculosis vaccine candidate MVA85A.

The grant was received from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. MVA85A is being developed through a partnership between the Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium and Aeras. The OETC is a joint venture between the University of Oxford and Emergent.

MVA85A is currently completing a Phase 2b clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the vaccine in more than 2,700 infants in South Africa. Results of the trial are expected later this year. The vaccine candidate is also being studied in another Phase 2b clinical trial that will enroll approximately 1,400 adults living with HIV in South Africa and Senegal.

"Emergent is honored to gain NIAID support, expanding the current government and non-government partners that are joining forces to advance this vaccine candidate," Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi, the president and COO of Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., said. "We all share a vision to declare victory in the global fight against tuberculosis and Emergent is proud to be at the forefront with such distinguished organizations. With efficacy data expected in the coming months, we are hopeful that MVA85A will have a significant impact on the global burden of this highly contagious and lethal disease."

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.5 million people die from TB each year and more than two billion people are infected with TB. The only licensed TB vaccine, Bacille Calmette-Guerin, has limited efficacy against pulmonary TB, multi-drug resistant TB and extensively-drug resistant TB.

"We join the rest of the world in observing World TB Day on March 24, commemorating the discovery of the cause of the disease, the TB bacillus, that paved the way for the development of two TB treatments, diagnostics, and vaccines," Jacqui Shea, the general manager of OETC, said. "Through much appreciated and essential grant funding, product development partnerships are making significant steps forward to stop TB. With continued support and collaboration, we hope to achieve our shared goal of a world free of TB within our lifetime."

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