World TB Day 2019: It’s time! … to strengthen collaborative Research & Innovation partnerships in TB vaccines

True to the World Tuberculosis Day 2019 theme ‘It’s time!’ TBVI continues its efforts to sustain its unique collaborative research infrastructure with the aim to develop new, effective, accessible and affordable TB vaccines.

The progress in the innovation and diversification of the TB vaccine pipeline shows the impact of intense collaboration between academia, public and private entities and governments and the unique infrastructure that TBVI and its R&D partners have developed in this area over the last two decades.

The outcome of two clinical trials last year has shown encouraging results for TB vaccines. A Phase 2b study in adolescents and young adults in Southern Africa with the TB vaccine candidate M72/AS01E showed significant protection against TB disease. Another study evaluating revaccination with BCG of adolescents demonstrated significant protection from sustained Mtb infection. These results have contributed to a growing optimism that novel TB vaccines will become a reality.

TBVAC2020: an EC funded collaborative research partnership
TBVI’s EC funded project TBVAC2020 supports the innovation and diversification of the TB vaccine and biomarker pipeline. It contributes to the EU scientific excellence through its consortium of more the 40 partners, producing more than 100 publications, having more than 150 presentations at scientific meetings and conferences and organizing 4 knowledge exchange meetings over the past 4 years.

From a virtually empty vaccine pipeline 15 years ago, through collaborative research, the pipeline now includes new vaccine candidates in later stage clinical trials, fast follower candidates in early stage clinical trials and new candidates in pre-clinical stages. Today 22 candidate vaccines are in preclinical and clinical development globally. Of these, 14 have benefited from TBVI/TBVAC2020’s collaborative research inputs. Link to TBVAC2020

TB vaccine development pathway – a tool that provides a structured development path and gating criteria for TB vaccine candidates
There is a pipeline of new TB vaccines that requires a global and comprehensive coordination of efforts with defined stages of development and criteria for progression of individual vaccine candidates. To address this need the TB Vaccine Development Pathway has been established and launched in 2018. This tool provides a structured path for the development of TB vaccine candidates. It also describes the different functions and capabilities required to advance a candidate TB vaccine to its next stage of development.

The Pathway was developed by experts from TBVI and IAVI, and consolidated with a variety of stakeholders in the field of TB vaccines. It was developed on behalf of the Global TB Vaccine Partnership (GTBVP), an alliance of organisations that aim at making novel TB vaccines a reality, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Link to the TB Vaccine Development Pathway