Aeras and CanSino Partner on Pre-Clinical Study of TB Vaccine Candidate
Tianjin CanSino Biotechnology Inc. (CanSino) and Aeras today announce a collaboration to advance the development of CanSino's TB vaccine candidate, Ad5Ag85A, an adenovirus vector based vaccine. TB continues to be a major threat to global health, causing 1.4 million deaths worldwide annually.
CanSino acquired exclusive global rights from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, in August 2011 to further develop and commercialize the adenovirus vector based TB vaccine candidate Ad5Ag85A developed by Prof. Zhou Xing. The vaccine is intended to serve as a booster to BCG vaccination. The product is currently undergoing testing in a Phase I clinical trial in Canada.
According to the terms of the agreement, Aeras will provide financial and technical support for CanSino's non-human primate proof-of-concept study in China in which novel delivery routes will be assessed. CanSino will work toward initiating clinical trials of this vaccine candidate in China and will conduct and manage support of research in a manner that enables subsequent availability and accessibility of the vaccine in developing countries if the vaccine is licensed.
Dr. Tom Evans, Aeras' Chief Scientific Officer, said, "Aeras is dedicated to the development of effective TB vaccines that will be made widely available in an affordable and sustainable manner to all who need them. We are pleased to collaborate with Tianjin CanSino on this study of this new vaccine candidate in China."
Dr. Xuefeng Yu, Chairman and CEO of CanSino, commented, "China is one of the countries with the highest TB disease burden. CanSino is dedicated to the development of high quality vaccines for China and other developing countries at affordable cost. Control of TB is one of the challenges for global public health and CanSino is proud to be engaged in combating this disease. Aeras has a wealth of knowledge and experience in TB vaccine development, and we are happy to establish this collaboration with Aeras. We are confident that partnerships like this with Aeras and with others will advance our candidate forward through the clinic."
One third of the global population is infected with TB. There are approximately 9 million new cases of disease and 1.4 million deaths due to TB each year. Vaccination is the best approach to control the spread of TB. The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is the only existing vaccine against TB. BCG is widely used in many developing countries including China. Unfortunately, it is only partially effective in preventing TB, and while it provides some protection against severe forms of pediatric TB, it has variable efficacy in preventing pulmonary TB in adolescents and adults. Therefore, a new, effective vaccine against TB is urgently needed if this disease is to be controlled.
About Tianjin CanSino Biotechnology Inc.
Formed in 2009, CanSino (www.cansinotech.com) is a biotechnology company dedicated to vaccine research, development and commercialization aimed at addressing markets and public health needs for China and other global markets. Developments at the Company range from existing products such as vaccines for acellular pertussis and related combinations to new vaccine developments aimed at TB and pneumococcal diseases. CanSino applies its know-how and extensive international experiences to its proprietary manufacturing processes that ensure not only efficiencies and economies of production but also the excellent quality of its products. The business is committed to growth through international partnerships. CanSino is located in Tianjin, China.
Aeras (www.aeras.org) is a non-profit product development organization dedicated to the development of effective TB vaccines and biologics to prevent TB across all age groups in an affordable and sustainable manner. Aeras utilizes its broad capabilities and technologies in collaboration with numerous partners and stakeholders to support the development of vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals to address TB and other significant public health needs of underserved populations. Aeras has invented or supported the development of six TB vaccine candidates to date, which are currently undergoing Phase I and Phase II clinical testing in Africa, Asia and North America. Aeras receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, other private foundations and various governments. Aeras is based in Rockville, Maryland, USA – where it operates a state-of-the-art manufacturing and laboratory facility – and Cape Town, South Africa.
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