Austrian vaccine developer Intercell on Tuesday announced that it has launched Phase I clinical trials of a new preventive tuberculosis vaccine, APA Economics News Service reports. The company is working with the Statens Serum Institut and the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation to develop the vaccine.
The vaccine, called HyVac4-IC31, is being tested among individuals who have been vaccinated with the BCG vaccine, according to a release. Trials are taking place at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. The experimental vaccine is based on the H4-antigen, which has shown an ability to enhance the BCG vaccine in preclinical trials.
Peter Andersen, vice president for vaccine research and development at SSI, said that as clinical trials begin, the groups are increasing their efforts to "provide the best possible TB vaccine to control the global TB epidemic." According to Alexander von Gabain, Intercell's chief scientific officer, the vaccine's adjuvant, IC31, has "proven to be safe and to induce a strong and sustained immune response that has not yet been seen before in comparable preclinical and clinical vaccine settings."
The vaccine also has "induced more significant protection in a BCG prime-boost regimen than any other vaccine we have tested in the long-term guinea pig challenge model," Jerald Sadoff, president and CEO of Aeras, said.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation