In Africa and India, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Aeras, a nonprofit biotechnology group, will work together to assess an experimental tuberculosis (TB) vaccine in “proof of concept” tests. The partners plan to start a mid-stage Phase IIb clinical study in Kenya, South Africa, and India in 2013, after successful initial tests with the GSK product, Aeras said on October 10.
TB is spreading in spite of the widespread use of the currently available TB vaccine Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), which prevents some forms of TB. BCG, however, does not prevent pulmonary TB, which accounts for the majority of infections and deaths. The new GSK-Aeras vaccine candidate is intended to be used together with BCG. Aeras and GSK will conduct the clinical trial in healthy adults aged 18 to 50 years old. Both partners will provide resources for the trial, which is scheduled to start in 2013, pending approvals from authorities.
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Ben Hirschler, Reuters
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