tuberculosis virus
Aeras and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) have signed a joint development agreement regarding IDRI’s tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidate, ID93/GLA-SE.

ID93/GLA-SE features ID93, which is a recombinant fusion polyprotein comprised of Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens associated with virulence or latency and Glucopyranosyl Lipid A – Stable Emulsion (GLA-SE) as an immunological adjuvant.

Under the agreement, the two non-profit product development organisations will leverage innovative science to develop vaccines that address critical diseases, including tuberculosis, in underserved populations.

IDRI expects the vaccine may be used to protect individuals prophylactically, with or without BCG vaccination, or therapeutically in combination with anti-tuberculosis drugs in patients with active infection.

"This collaboration will speed the development of this promising new vaccine."

In preclinical studies, ID93/GLA-SE demonstrated safety and substantial protection against the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, both with and without previous priming with BCG.

The Phase 1 study, which is designed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of ID93/GLA-SE in a group of healthy volunteers, is expected to begin later in 2012.

IDRI founder and chief scientific officer Steven Reed said: "Given Aeras’s focus and breadth of experience in supporting the clinical development of tuberculosis vaccines, we believe this collaboration will speed the development of this promising new vaccine."

Jim Connolly, Aeras president and CEO, said: "We look forward to sharing resources and expertise with a like-minded organisation also committed to saving the lives and livelihoods of the millions of people who will otherwise succumb to this devastating disease."

Aeras is a non-profit product organisation focused on the development of vaccines and biologics to prevent TB across all age groups. IDRI is a Seattle-based not-for-profit organisation that is engaged in the research and development of products to prevent, detect and treat infectious diseases.

Image: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, stained red, in sputum. Photo courtesy of: CDC.