Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Clinical Trial For New Tuberculosis Vaccine

Date:
September 12, 2008
Source:
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Summary:
With annually 2 million deaths and 9 million new cases, there are more victims of tuberculosis than of any other infectious disease, apart from AIDS. Worsening the situation, many strains of tuberculosis are so resistant that they no longer respond to traditional treatment, making the necessity of a new tuberculosis vaccine more urgent than ever. For the first time in 80 years, a promising live tuberculosis vaccine has reached the clinical trial stage in Germany.

The most important tuberculosis pathogen, the bacterium Mycobakterium tuberculosis, divides itself every 16 to 20 hours. In comparison to other bacteria, which divide themselves in the space of minutes, this is extremely slow.
Credit: Brinkmann/Schaible, MPI for Infection Biology

With annually 2 million deaths and 9 million new cases, there are more victims of tuberculosis than of any other infectious disease, apart from AIDS. To make the situation worse, many strains of tuberculosis are so resistant that they no longer respond to traditional treatment, making the necessity of a new tuberculosis vaccine more urgent than ever.

For the first time in 80 years, a very promising live tuberculosis vaccine has reached the clinical trial stage in Germany.

Since Monday of this week, the new vaccine "VPM1002" has entered the clinical phase I trial in Neuss, Germany, where it is being tested for safety on voluntary subjects. VPM1002 is based on a vaccine that has been in use since 1921, and has been genetically engineered to prevent infection with tuberculosis bacteria much more effectively than its predecessor.

The scientific basis for this was laid down by the team working with Stefan H.E. Kaufmann, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. "The BCG tuberculosis vaccine, which was developed by French researchers, is the most frequently administered live vaccine in the world," says Kaufmann. However, BCG (short for the bacterium Bacillus Calmette-Guιrind) is now frequently ineffective. The immunologist continues: "BCG has become a blunt weapon. We wanted to use genetic engineering to sharpen it so that, rather than hiding from the human immune system, it would stimulate it as much as possible."

To do this, the researchers inserted a gene into the vaccine bacteria. Leander Grode, who at the time was a member of Stefan H.E. Kaufmann’s staff and is today heads a project at Vakzine Projekt Management GmbH (VPM), describes the process: "The vaccine bacteria are taken up by the scavenger cells of the human immune system and end up in their digestion chambers. The genetically engineered modification allows them to escape from the chambers and arm the immune system against the tuberculosis pathogens."

The scientific studies were initially undertaken at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. In 2004, the vaccine was licensed to the Hanover-based VPN, which expedited the clinical study. Thus far, the new vaccine has proven to be extremely effective and safe in animal models. "We now need to prove that it has the same positive effect on humans, so that it qualifies for a license," explains VPM CEO Bernd Eisele. Kaufmann urges patience: "Even if the new vaccine proves to be well-tolerated, it will still have to undergo more testing to establish its efficacy. That will take at least ten years." Nevertheless - this new approach is looking hopeful.

The establishment of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in 1993 was one of the first in the newly-formed German states (which previously had made up East Germany). The Institute is located on the historical Charitι Mitte campus, where, 100 years ago, Robert Koch and Emil Behring made important discoveries about infectious diseases. A key reason for choosing this location was the desire to work together with the universities and clinics on clinically relevant infectious disease projects.

"Interdisciplinary research into the molecular and cellular basis of infections enables the systematic development of new therapeutic and preventative measures. Basic research into infectious processes can therefore not only explain fundamental questions in biomedicine, but also make a contribution to solving significant problems in healthcare policy in the future," says Stefan H.E. Kaufmann. VPM was set up by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research as a private-public partnership. "We ensure that excellent results from basic research benefit humankind and find their way into practical applications," says Bernd Eisele.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Clinical Trial For New Tuberculosis Vaccine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911103912.htm>.
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. (2008, September 12). Clinical Trial For New Tuberculosis Vaccine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911103912.htm
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Clinical Trial For New Tuberculosis Vaccine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911103912.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins