Aeras and CNBG to develop TB vaccines

Aeras will license its recombinant BCG (rBCG) and other technologies to CNBG

Aeras, a non-profit developer of TB vaccines based in Rockville, Maryland, US and the China National Biotec Group (CNBG) have agreed jointly to develop new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines.

CNBG has 10 subsidiaries and is the largest biotech corporation in China engaged in the research and development, manufacturing and marketing of biological products. Its controlling shareholder is China’s National Pharmaceutical Corporation (Sinopharm).

Multiple research institutes operating under the umbrella of CNBG will work with Aeras. The agreement spans all aspects of TB vaccine development – from discovery to pre-clinical research to clinical research to manufacturing.

Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), the only currently licensed TB vaccine, does not prevent pulmonary TB, which is the most common form of the disease. As part of this collaboration, Aeras will license its recombinant BCG (rBCG) and other technologies to CNBG. The groups will jointly develop novel TB vaccines using the rBCG platform and other technologies provided by Aeras or CNBG's research institutes.

A keystone of this broad collaboration is the implementation of joint product development teams to execute comprehensive plans for the research and clinical development of TB vaccines and the design, construction and validation of a vaccine process development and manufacturing facility in China, which will receive financial support and technical expertise from Aeras.

‘The synergy created by bringing together our scientific and manufacturing expertise could have a substantial impact on efforts to advance innovative candidates in TB vaccine development,’ said Jim Connolly, president and ceo of Aeras.

There are more than one million new cases of TB every year in China. Globally, TB is responsible for the deaths of 1.4 million people annually.