TB Vaccine Gets a Boost from Pro-Immunogenic Technology



Imaxio, a pharmaceutical company that specialize in vaccines and genomics, are currently running their first human trials into a new tuberculosis vaccine. The trials, being coordinated by the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, are focusing on the new pro-immunogenic agent, IMX313 and its effect on an existing vaccination drug.

The trials will be looking at the dose escalation, safety and immunogenicity of IMX313 when it is combined with MVA85A. MVA85A is a strong contender for a new TB vaccine but it has shown to be largely ineffective in phase II trials on its own. It is hoped that combining it with IMX313 will lead to an improvement in its efficacy and an enhanced potency to the drug.

The study drug is a viral vector vaccine, which encodes the TB antigen 85A and then fuses it to IMX313. IMX313 is designed to enhance the immune response within the patient and has been used in vaccinations for influenza, Staphylococcus aureus and malaria.

Tuberculosis is caused by the bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is responsible for 2 million deaths every year and it is estimated that a third of the world’s population is latently infected. The current vaccine, the BCG, has shown to be largely ineffective for adult pulmonary disease (the main cause of death to those infected) and it is common knowledge that the quest for a new vaccination programme is long overdue. Tuberculosis infection has been directly linked with the proliferation of HIV. New vaccinations and treatments are also needed to thwart the onset of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extremely drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB).

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Image of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is provided courtesy of http://pekanburu.co


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