New pill form of TB vaccine shows promise

Immunitor announced on Monday that a one month Phase II trial of its orally-administered therapeutic TB vaccine, V7, had good results.

Two groups of patients with TB were given different Mycobacterium vaccae TB vaccines in the clinical trial. One group received a vaccination done by injection, while the other was given the V7 oral vaccine. The results showed that the V7 vaccine was safe and did not produce any harmful side effects or adverse reactions.

"The main implication of this trial is that conventional TB chemotherapy can be shortened to as little as one month," Dr. Dmytro Butov, the principal investigator of this study, said. "We are confident that we can do better. Indeed, we have second trial of V7, which will be published next month with even better outcome. These promising findings need to be confirmed in expanded studies."

The results also showed that mycobacterial clearance in sputum smears was observed in 31.8 percent versus 9.5 percent of patients on V7 and placebo, respectively. The proportion of converted patients and time to conversion in the trial also showed to be identical between the two methods. The vaccine also showed results, with mycobacterial clearance in spetum smears in 31.8 percent of patients given V7 and 9.5 percent of patients given a placebo.

While the injectable version of M. vaccae, VACCAE has been proven to be safe and effective for the treatment of TB, the study looked to find an easier way to administer drug. M. vaccae is one of the few TB drugs that is inexpensive, made from readily available source and does not require cold-chain storage.