SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

NIBIO teams with Aeras, CREATE to develop new TB vaccines

Aeras, a nonprofit biotechnology company developing TB vaccines, announced a collaboration on Monday with Japan's National Institute of Biomedical Innovation and Create Vaccine Company, Ltd., to develop new mucosal tuberculosis vaccines.

NIBIO, Aeras and CREATE signed the collaboration agreement on December 26 for the preclinical and clinical development of TB vaccines based on NIBIO's human parainfluenza type-2 vector technology. The goal of the collaboration is to advance to safety and immunogenicity testing in clinical trials for the vaccine candidates.

"These will be important candidates; designed to target mucous membranes to keep TB from entering the lungs," Tom Evans, the president and CEO of Aeras, said. "This type of collaboration among global experts is exactly the approach needed to find an effective vaccine that will end tuberculosis in Japan and around the world."

The rhPIV2 vaccine platform was developed by Tsukuba Primate Research Center at NIBIO. NIBIO is an independent administrative corporation in Japan specialized in promoting and supporting new drug discovery.

"Based on the promising results of early research and the improved safety profile of candidates using this rhPIV2 platform, we believe that this platform has great possibility," Yasuhiro Yasutomi, the director of Tsukuba Primate Research Center at NIBIO, said. "Further studies contribute to the ultimate goal of establishing a new vaccine strategy that can definitely prevent TB."

CREATE is a joint venture company created by Japan BCG Laboratory and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma to market and develop TB vaccines with Aeras and NIBIO.

"Development of TB vaccines is a new challenge." Koichi Kozuki, the president of CREATE, said. "The exciting partnership among NIBIO, Aeras and CREATE will accelerate development efforts for clinical application of new TB vaccines to the patients who need it."

Tuberculosis infects more than 8.6 million annually around the world with 1.3 million dying each year from the disease.