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Vaccine targeting latent TB enters clinical testing
Date:12/1/2011

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK/ROCKVILLE, MD, USA Statens Serum Institut and Aeras today announce the initiation of the first Phase I clinical trial of a new candidate TB vaccine designed to protect people latently infected with TB from developing active TB disease. The trial is being conducted by the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) at its field site in Worcester, in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Dr. Hassan Mahomed is the principal investigator.

"Two billion men, women and children live with latent TB infection," said Jim Connolly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aeras. "It's daunting to comprehend that there is a vast reservoir of people with a 5-10% lifetime risk of becoming sick with TB. A vaccine that prevents TB disease in this population could save millions of lives, and this trial is a first step in assessing a vaccine candidate designed for this purpose."

The candidate TB vaccine (SSI H56-IC31) is a subunit vaccine containing recombinant TB proteins formulated in a proprietary adjuvant IC31 from Intercell. It is being developed under a consortium of researchers led by Peter Andersen at the Statens Serum Institut (SSI) based in Copenhagen. The consortium is supported as part of the Grand Challenges in Global Health, an initiative that fosters scientific breakthroughs needed to prevent, treat and cure diseases of the developing world.

"The development of urgently needed new TB vaccines requires a global effort," said Prof. Peter Andersen, the Vice President of Vaccine Research & Development at SSI. "The advancement of this candidate from an idea to the clinic working in collaboration first with the Grand Challenges consortium and now with Aeras and SATVI is an important and exciting milestone for all the researchers involved."

This clinical trial will be the first to test this vaccine candidate in people. It will assess the safety and immunogenicity of SSI H56-IC31 in 25 adults,
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Contact: Annmarie Leadman
aleadman@aeras.org
240-599-3018
Aeras
Source:Eurekalert

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