TBVAC2020: Advancing novel and promising TB vaccine candidates from discovery to preclinical and early clinical development

  • Duration: January 2015 – June 2019
  • Funded under H2020
  • Overall budget € 25 056 507,33
  • EU contribution € 18 200 000
  • Coordinated by TBVI
  • 45 partners

Project summary:

The Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission (EC) supported the collaborative research project TBVAC2020. TBVAC2020 aimed to innovate and diversify the TB vaccine and biomarker pipeline while at the same time applying portfolio management using gating and priority setting criteria to select as early as possible the most promising TB vaccine candidates, and accelerate their development. The TBVAC2020 project built on the highly successful and long-standing collaborations in subsequent EC-FP5-, FP6- and FP7-funded TB vaccine and biomarker projects, but also brought in a large number of new key partners from excellent laboratories from Europe, USA, Asia, Africa and Australia, many of which are global leaders in the TB field.

TBVAC2020 combined:

  • Creative “bottom-up” approaches to accelerate TB vaccine discovery resulting in identification of novel vaccine candidates ready for preclinical development and evaluation (WP1)
  • New and improved preclinical models addressing clinical challenges (WP2)
  • Head-to head or comparative preclinical and early clinical evaluation of selected vaccine candidates (WP3, WP4).
  • Identification and characterization of correlates of protection (WP5)
  • A directive “top-down” portfolio management approach aiming to select and assess the most promising TB vaccine candidates for comparative evaluation (WP3, WP4) using objective gating and priority setting criteria (WP6)
  • Neutral and efficient project management including communication and independent product development and technical advice for vaccine researchers while they move their candidates from concept to clinical development [TBVI’s P&CDT]

The TBVAC2020 consortium coordinated by TBVI facilitates the collaboration and early data sharing between partners with the common aim of working toward the development of an effective TB vaccine. Close links with funders, other consortia and the Global TB Vaccine Partnership (GTBVP) with shared interests further contribute to this goal.

Project information can also be found on: Cordis https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/643381

TBVAC2020 Project Achievements

Thanks to the early selection of the most promising TB vaccine candidates and by accelerating their development, today’s TB vaccine pipeline is more diverse and includes new vaccine candidates for different target groups.

The main achievements are:

  • By evaluating a range of different and innovative approaches in vaccine discovery,  25 new vaccine approaches and platform technologies were identified that are applied to the development of novel TB vaccine candidates, and to development of vaccines in a range of other infectious diseases.
  • By using head-to-head testing in ‘standardised’ centralised preclinical models and by applying a globally accepted stage gating and portfolio assessment (www.tbvacpathway.org), TBVAC2020 has identified 13 new promising candidates, 7 of which showed improved efficacy over the existing BCG vaccine.
  • A unique global platform for TB biomarker research and development has emerged. This resulted in a rich pipeline of biomarkers.
  • A number of TB vaccine candidates discovered and developed with the support of TBVAC2020, and its FP6 and FP7 predecessors have progressed to clinical stages and secured support from EDCTP for further (clinical) development.

TBVAC2020 has been successful in discovery up to early clinical development and delivered on what was promised: prioritisation & selection, diversification, harmonisation, data sharing and global collaboration.

Overall, the impact of European investment in TB R&D is evidenced by the fact that over 50% of the TB vaccine candidates in the global preclinical and clinical pipeline originate from TBVAC2020, and its predecessors projects under FP 5, 6 and 7.