GSK’s TB vaccine trials show ‘protection’; The Union welcomes results

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on October 29, 2019

The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), on Tuesday, welcomed the Phase IIb Trial results of the tuberculosis vaccine candidate of GSK.

The final analysis of GSK’s candidate vaccine demonstrated ‘sustained level of protection’ against active pulmonary tuberculosis. The findings of the phase IIb study have been published today in the New England Journal of Medicine and were also presented at the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health being held here.

Addressing a press conference here, Paula I Fujiwara, Scientific Director, The Union, said, “We are one more cautious, but exciting, step closer to a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB).” The Union is the convenor of the conference.

“As researchers discuss how to move the trial into its final phase, we simultaneously need to be doing all we can to prevent tuberculosis with medications that we already have at our disposal,” Fujiwara said.

According to Olivier Van Der Meeren, Director, Clinical Research and Development, GSK Vaccines, the final results confirm “innovative candidate vaccine’s efficacy level and acceptable safety profile in three-year clinical trial conducted in sub-Saharan African regions”.

Even though TB is preventable, treatable and curable, it killed 1.5 million people last year, more than HIV/AIDS.

India has the highest TB burden in the world with just over one in four of all estimated global cases reported in this country. The Indian government has made the fight against TB a central priority and boldly pledged to end TB by 2025, five years before the globally agreed target.

“We cannot eliminate TB globally unless we end it in India,” said Jamhoih Tonsing, Director, The Union’s South East Asia Office, New Delhi.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s recent Global TB Report, the number of people with TB in India is falling and that is good news. But it is still “not falling nearly fast enough in India”.

Published on October 29, 2019

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