TB on the Global Stage: Good News

Posted 26 September 2018

ASTMH Applauds Major Steps in Addressing TB: 
UN General Assembly High Level Meeting and TB Vaccine Candidate

 The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), the largest international scientific organization of tropical infectious disease experts, applauds the United Nations for bringing much-needed attention to tuberculosis through its first High Level Meeting on TB. We are also pleased that these meetings took place just as newly published results of the TB vaccine clinical trial candidate brought good news for an ancient disease that continues to see about 10 million new cases a year. Results of the Phase 2b clinical trial of the M72AS01E tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidate are preliminary, but encouraging. The partnership between Aeras and Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) is what made these results possible. 
“This preliminary, two-year data for a candidate TB vaccine is the first evidence we’ve seen that new TB vaccine strategies will be a significant addition to the TB toolbox,” said ASTMH President Regina Rabinovich, MD. “It’s the kind of global health advance needed to turn this epidemic around. Congratulations to Aeras and GSK for taking this vaccine to the next step in the face of skepticism that a vaccine strategy could be effective. These are the kinds of pioneers needed to advance the field.”
Innovations from civil society, academia and biotechnology companies – including partnerships like this between Aeras and GSK – are critical for long-term success against TB. But the risks are high and there is a lack of market incentives for funding the development of product development for TB. Partnerships are the key to creating new medications and vaccines for TB, and those products will move into more expensive Phase 3 trials before achieving regulatory and policy approval necessary to be funded by The Global Fund, the critical leader in funding programs for HIV, TB and malaria in resource-constrained countries.