Immune Network announces completion of phase II TB treatment trial

Immune Network, Ltd., a Vancouver, British Columbia-based biotechnology company, announced the completion of a phase II tuberculosis trial on Sunday to determine if an oral, inactivated, whole cell Mycobacterium could reduce treatment duration.

The study, conducted by the Ukraine-based Immunitor, Inc., determined that daily oral administration of low doses of the heat-killed Mycobacterium vaccae, along with TB drugs, cleared the TB bacterium from sputum smears within one month. Current drugs used to treat TB utilize treatment regiments can last up to 30 months. The outcome was found to be just as successful in multi-drug resistant TB and HIV-TB.

"Remarkable anti-TB activity resulting from daily dosing with oral M. vaccae supports the prior study in Argentina," Dmytro Butov, the principal investigator of the study, said. "Our results indicate that the duration of MDR-TB therapy can be shortened by as much as twenty-fold and additional studies are now planned to see if the simple two-drug combo with V7 holds the promise. If confirmed, this will revolutionize and transform TB care and control."

Mycobacterium vaccae is a non-pathogenic bacterium in the same family as the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium. Injectable M. vaccae was approved for sale in China in 2001 as an adjunct TB drug immunotherapy. The capsulated oral M. vaccae version was tested successfully in a 10 patient Argentinean study in 2010. Proprietary technology developed by Immunitor has led to a low-cost tablet version of M. vaccae that was used in the study.