TB vaccine candidate trial begins in South Africa
The vaccine candidate was created by IDRI. It has shown promise in preventing as well as treating TB in animal models involved in preclinical studies. The Wellcome Trust has awarded IDRI $5.8 million to conduct the study, which has the goal of determining the candidate’s ability to decrease TB recurrence after the patients received the treatments.
“TB is one of a number of serious infections that is becoming harder to treat as the bacteria evolve resistance to even our most effective drugs,” Stephen Caddick, Ph.D., director of innovations at the Wellcome Trust, said. “We urgently need new ways of preventing and treating the infection in high-risk populations. The trial of this promising experimental vaccine is an important development, and one which could eventually give us a 21st century weapon against this centuries old disease."
Many times patients complete their anti-TB treatment regimen only to contract the illness again. This is detrimental to TB control programs as it spreads drug resistance.
"The Phase 2a trial will be the first dose-escalating TB vaccine trial conducted in persons who have previously had active TB and been successfully treated with a full course of antibiotic therapy," Rhea Coler, Ph.D., vice president of preclinical development for IDRI, who is serving as the clinical immunology director for the trial, said. "This is an important study population as the incidence of TB can be higher in people recently cured of the disease."