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During the 50th World Conference on Lung Health in Hyderabad, experts presented a vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) against Tuberculosis (TB) showing positive study results in patients who took the vaccine.   

The vaccine known as M72 or AS01E was tested on 3,300 adults that are HIV negative and have latent Tuberculosis that could later develop into active TB.   

The test was done in 11 different parts of Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia and was conducted in partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).   

The study revealed that the new vaccine could minimize the number of people developing Tuberculosis by half, for those that received the vaccine.   

Findings of the study that was also highlighted by the reputable New England Journal of Medicine showed that the people who have received two doses of the vaccine, only 13 developed active TB.

This is contrary to those that received placebo treatment that resulted to over 20 of the people getting an active TB.   

Dr. Breuer, Chief Medical Officer of GSK vaccines quoted that “These results demonstrate that for the first time in the century, the global community has a new tool in helping protect against Tuberculosis”.   

The new vaccine is considered as one of the first few new vaccines developed against Tuberculosis.

At present, Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, which was developed way back in 1921, is given to guard people against TB.

However, the protection by BCG wears off after a few years thus, new vaccines must be developed to sustain protection against TB.   

Meeran, Director of Clinical Research at GSK said that GSK has relentlessly worked hard in ensuring positive study results since 1999 and has finally achieved efficiency in their efforts by the study’s recent promising results.   

(Source: The Economic Times, 2019)