In an initial step towards the development of a new vaccine to prevent tuberculosis, the Sequella Global Tuberculosis Foundation has named 13 researchers to the Core Scientist Program of its Tuberculosis Vaccine Collaboration (TBVC) program. Acting as a focused research team, these core scientists will help to guide the Foundation as it supports new and innovative tuberculosis vaccine development.
"What we are trying to do in the Core Scientist Program is to accelerate the transition of experimental vaccines from the research bench to the clinic. The three major areas addressed by this program are clinical trial site development, new tools for vaccine assessment in clinical trials, and research supporting the eventual clinical evaluation of candidate tuberculosis vaccines," says Carol Nacy, Ph.D., President of the Foundation. "Our goal is not just the research, but an actual vaccine."
Once thought to be under control and nearly eradicated in industrialized countries, tuberculosis continues to be a threat in all countries because of increasing drug resistance. It is estimated that nearly a third of the world's population, approximately 2 billion people, are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes the disease. About 10% of these individuals will develop active tuberculosis disease within their lifetime. The antibiotics and the vaccine currently used to treat and prevent this disease are antiquated and have limited effectiveness.
The Core Scientists Program is the first step in the Foundation's TBVC, an international program designed to coordinate and facilitate the development of a vaccine. The scientists represent a variety of scientific, engineering and public health disciplines that are necessary to create a successful vaccine.
Later this year the Foundation will begin accepting investigator-initiated grant applications in its Vaccine Innovation Program, designed to fund novel tuberculosis vaccine research.
Contact: Carol Nacy
Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation