Dr. Richard Klausner, executive director of the Gates Foundation's Global Health program, announced the grant at the opening session of the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Seattle. The grant will more than double the amount spent annually on TB vaccine research worldwide.
"It's unacceptable that TB continues to kill someone every 15 seconds when we have the ability to discover new tools to stop it," Klausner said. "Through accelerated research and development, a new vaccine could permanently change the trajectory of the epidemic and save millions of lives every year."
Two billion people one out of every three people on earth are infected with the TB pathogen. TB is the leading killer of people infected with HIV. Fueled by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, TB is resurgent in the developing world, and the World Health Organization projects that 36 million people could die of the disease over the next 20 years.
New TB Vaccine Urgently Needed
A new vaccine is the key to controlling TB, an airborne, contagious bacterial disease that begins with a cough but can rapidly spread to the lungs, bones and brain. While TB can be treated, the basic treatment regimen takes at least six months to complete and requires as many as four different drugs, which are often unavailable in developing countries. Modeling studies show that a modestly effective vaccine (50%-70% effective) used in combination with drug therapy could save tens of millions of lives, and a highly effective vaccine c
Contact: Patti Pierson