23 March 2010 - Rockville, Maryland, USA - For the first time the government of the United Kingdom funded the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation. The grant of £ 8,000,000 (approximately US$ 13 million) is a significant show of support for Aeras in its mission to develop new TB vaccines.
"If the international community is serious about tackling HIV and TB we must find a way to break this devastating cycle," said Mike Foster, the UK Minister for International Development. "That is why the UK is supporting the discovery of a new TB vaccine that is safe for babies born with HIV, and why we are scaling up efforts to reduce the impact of drug resistant strains of TB."
Aeras is a non-profit product development partnership with six new TB vaccine candidates in its product pipeline. Four candidates are currently undergoing testing in clinical trials in Africa, Europe and North America. Two of these have reached the Phase IIb proof of concept stage.
With support from governments and foundations, Aeras collaborates with academia, industry, foundations and governments to develop new TB vaccine candidates and delivery systems, manufacture vaccines at low cost and establish intellectual property rights to assure their future availability and affordability.
"Investment by the UK government in our TB vaccine development program is a tremendous boost for Aeras and our partners, especially during such a difficult economic environment", said R. Gordon Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Chairman of the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation. "We are grateful to DFID for this generous support."