The first ever TBScience pre-conference gave focus to the importance of collaboration to end the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic – highlighted by the announcement of the success of a new vaccine as a result of a partnership approach.
Primary results of a clinical trial into a new TB vaccine, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and conducted in partnership with Aeras, reported that GSK’s M72/AS01E candidate vaccine significantly reduced the incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis disease in HIV-negative adults with latent tuberculosis infection in an ongoing phase IIb clinical trial testing. These primary results demonstrate an overall vaccine efficacy of 54 percent, with varied response rates observed in different demographic subgroups.
While presenting M72 Prevention of disease trial – preliminary results, Marie-Ange Demoitie, from GSK, said: “It was made possible thanks to an excellent partnership with AERAS and a great collaboration with all of the investigators and the clinical sites.”
Ann Ginsberg, Senior Technical Adviser at IAVI, commented on the results: “This is the first real progress in terms of TB vaccines and potential for really controlling the epidemic in decades. Really since BCG almost a hundred years ago. But to ensure the ultimate impact of this vaccine we really need to build new types of collaborations, this can’t be done by any one company or anyone group alone.
“These are going to have to involve the companies and the product development partnership, but also scientists, governments, including the government of the high burden countries, other funders, advocates and equally importantly the communities who are affected by this disease.
“We all need to invest together in moving forward to turn this vision of a vaccine that can help end the TB epidemic into reality.”
Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of STOP TB Partnership, built on the message of collaboration, saying: “It is incredible that in 2018 we still look at the vaccine that Calmette Guérin did like the ‘oh my god’. With ebola when people buckled up and came together, they were able to do in a year and a half what we tried to do for a hundred years. What is wrong with this world?”
TBScience brings together scientists from microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, pharmacology, epidemiology and mathematical modelling to present and discuss recent findings on TB transmission, infection and disease. Additional focus is also given to the development of better vaccines, new drugs and efficient but effective diagnostics for TB, and methodological challenges to determining the burden of TB disease at the subnational level.
Dr Paula I Fujiwara, Scientific Director of The Union said: “We’re very excited that the inaugural TBScience pre-conference has proved so popular, we’re standing room only and it indicated a thirst for coming together around basic science within the TB and research communities.”
TBScience continues today with a half-day programme ahead of the opening of the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health.
COLLABORATION THE MESSAGE OF THE FIRST TBSCIENCE GATHERING, 24 Oct 2018