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Funding Advances the Development of the First New TB Vaccine in a Century


The final round of testing for what may be the first brand-new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine in more than a century are being funded by a partnership between two significant actors in the global health philanthropy.

The Phase III studies of the M72 vaccine will receive about $550 million from Wellcome and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation combined.

Despite being preventable and treatable, TB, a bacterial illness that mostly affects the lungs, nevertheless affects 10 million people annually, and 1.6 million people died from it in 2021, nearly exclusively in low- and middle-income nations.

It has long been the most lethal infectious disease in the world, although COVID-19 briefly surpassed it.

Bill Gates berated the globe for not supporting new TB tools earlier this year. The majority of the $400 million in funding for the new trial will come from his organisation. But if the study is a success, the organisation is also searching for business partners to distribute the vaccine widely.

“We require a vaccine producer. We are having debates about that. According to Trevor Mundel, the Gates Foundation’s head of global health, “we have a few partners that are interested.

According to him, the experiment will involve 26,000 participants at more than 50 sites in Africa and Southeast Asia and is expected to last 4-6 years. The effectiveness of the vaccine will be examined to determine how well it shields against latent TB, which could affect up to 25% of individuals worldwide. People with HIV will participate in the trial.

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