A keystone of this broad collaboration is the implementation of joint product development teams to develop and execute comprehensive plans for both the research and clinical development of TB vaccines and the design, construction and validation of a vaccine process development and manufacturing facility in China, which will receive financial support and technical expertise provided by Aeras.
"The synergy created by bringing together our scientific and manufacturing expertise could have a substantial impact on efforts to advance innovative candidates in TB vaccine development," said Jim Connolly, President and CEO of Aeras. "We look forward to working with the largest biotech corporation in a country with the skills, resources and TB disease burden to play a major role in overcoming the complex challenges of TB vaccine R&D."
TB is a major public health priority in China, where there are more than one million new TB cases every year. Globally, the TB epidemic is responsible for the deaths of 1.4 million people annually.
Aeras (www.aeras.org) is a non-profit product development organization dedicated to the development of effective TB vaccines and biologics to prevent TB across all age groups in an affordable and sustainable manner. Aeras utilizes its broad capabilities and technologies in collaboration with numerous partners and stakeholders to support the development of vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals to address TB and other significant public health needs of underserved populations. Aeras has invented or supported the development of six TB vaccine candidates to date, five of which are currently undergoing Phase I and Phase II clinical testing in Africa, Asia and North America. Aeras receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, other private foundations and
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