TBVI: a new TB vaccine and how to get there

As part of the Imagine2030 campaign we want to show that innovation is not just something for the future. Biomedical advances being made right now will shape how we fight diseases of poverty in the future, and are delivering changes every day. It will be these advances, and the organisations behind them, that will bring us closer to our goal: an end of diseases of poverty by 2030.


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TB Alliance: our wishes for the fight against TB by 2030, amid hope for simpler TB treatment

As part of the Imagine2030 campaign we want to show that innovation is not just something for the future. Biomedical advances being made right now will shape how we fight diseases of poverty in the future, and are delivering changes every day. It will be these advances, and the organisations behind them, that will bring us closer to our goal: an end of diseases of poverty by 2030.

For our focus on Tuberculosis in February 2017, the CEO of TB Alliance, Dr. Mel Spigelman, shares his views on how we are progressing in the fight against the disease, and his hopes for 2030. Take a look at the video, and read the dispatch fro the forefront of the fight against TB underneath!

TB Alliance: New hope for simpler TB treatment, even for the most drug-resistant cases

There are very few diseases left that are curable but still require months and months if not years of treatment. Tuberculosis (TB) is one of them, and over 10 million people are sickened by it each year.

Today’s tuberculosis treatments were developed 50 years ago. They need to be modernized. Basic treatment for TB infections that are not drug resistant lasts six months and consists of four potent antibiotics. For infections that are resistant to any or all of these four drugs, treatment is longer and much more complicated—up to thousands of pills plus injections for up to two years or more, and horrible side effects. Drug-resistant TB is a major source of antimicrobial resistance, which has emerged as an urgent global health challenge.

Current treatment doesn’t always work. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only one fifth of those needing treatment for multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB receive it, and only half of those with who receive treatment are cured. Those with extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB have it worse—just over one quarter of those who receive treatment are cured.

New treatments in development

Today, however, there are two experimental drug regimens that have the potential to simplify everything. Late-stage clinical trial results, presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, Washington this month, gave patients and their caregivers hope for improved, shorter and simpler treatments for all types of TB, including the most difficult to treat cases.

Two new drugs—pretomanid (Pa) and bedaquiline (B)—form the backbone of these regimens. When combined with moxifloxacin (M) and pyrazinamide (Z), the BPaMZ regimen, studied in TB Alliance’s NC-005 clinical trial, shows the potential to cure all but the most drug-resistant forms of TB within six months.

When the backbone is combined with linezolid (L), the BPaL regimen, studied in TB Alliance’s Nix-TB clinical trial, shows the potential to reduce treatment time for XDR-TB from two years or more to six months—the amount of time currently needed to cure the simplest version of the disease. Expanded study of the BPaL regimen is expected later in 2017.

These results need to be confirmed in expanded studies. If the new clinical trials verify that the new treatments work, health professionals around the world will only need two versions of TB treatment—both with a simple set of daily pills to be taken for no longer than six months.

TB killed almost 2 million people in 2015. By 2030, we can solve this deadly killer.


Learn more about TB Alliance here.

Go back to imagine2030.org

Aeras: The Urgent Need for New TB Vaccines

As part of the Imagine2030 campaign we want to show that innovation is not just something for the future. Biomedical advances being made right now will shape how we fight diseases of poverty in the future, and are delivering changes every day. It will be these advances, and the organisations behind them, that will bring us closer to our goal: an end of diseases of poverty by 2030.

For our focus on Tuberculosis in February 2017, our partners at Aeras share the latest developments in the field of TB vaccines – and why we urgently need innovation to fight the disease. Read on to find out more!


Tuberculosis (TB) has a persistent reputation for being a disease of the past. But in reality, TB kills more people than any other single infectious disease in the world. Today, a third of the global population – more than 2 billion people – are infected with the bacteria that cause TB, and some 10% will get sick and could infect others simply by coughing or sneezing. On average, a person with active TB will spread the disease to 10 to 15 people within a year. TB, especially drug-resistant TB, is a deadly disease and thousands of Europeans are already infected with the bacteria that cause it.

A Global Epidemic and Regional Burden

In 2015 there were 10,4 million cases and 1,8 million deaths from TB disease around the world—and Europe is not immune. In 2015, the European region had 323 000 new cases and 37 000 deaths from TB.

In addition to the health burden, the economic burden of TB is considerable, costing Europe more than €5 billion in treatment and lost productivity each year, much more than the amount it would take to develop a new, more effective vaccine to prevent TB. Although TB treatment success rates in Europe have improved, they were still below global average in 2014, at 76%.

Drug-Resistant TB: Global Threat

The rise in multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strains is making TB harder to fight and presents a grave threat to health and security in all countries. Drug resistance is especially prevalent in Eastern Europe, where there is a serious MDR-TB epidemic, with one of the highest levels of MDR-TB globally. Nine of 30 countries with a high burden of MDR-TB are in the European region. And the XDR-TB “superbug” strains have now been found in 117 countries.

New Vaccines Must Be Part of the Fight Against TB

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) End TB Strategy both state that a new TB vaccine is key to ending the TB epidemic. A cost-effective vaccine that prevents adolescents and adults from acquiring, developing and transmitting TB would also lead to less reliance on antibiotics—a critical step in fighting the rising threat of drug-resistance. But a successful vaccine will only be possible with continued innovation and investment from around the globe. So as World TB Day approaches, we ask that you put your support behind vaccine research and development, and stand with us in the fight to end TB.


Learn more about Aeras here.

Go back to imagine2030.org