With the long-term goal of bringing a new, more effective TB vaccine to market by 2015, Aeras commits to opening a minimum of two new field sites, with the accompanying laboratories, equipment and physical infrastructure necessary to support the sites, in high burden countries for Clinical Trials of at least one promising new TB vaccine candidate over the next 5 years. At the same time, Aeras will invest in the long-term public health infrastructure and human capacity of such host countries by implementing Aeras' Professional Development Program to provide education, training and certification of indigenous personnel for the conduct of Clinical Trials. This unique Program is the first such program based on developing knowledge and appreciation for the role an individual has on the clinical research team, not just having 'protocol training.' Aeras' commitment is to ensure that this Program is adapted in other communities and countries for Clinical Trials of vaccines and treatments for TB, HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other neglected and tropical diseases.
TB is the world's second deadliest infectious disease, claiming about 2 million lives each year, and it is the single biggest killer of people infected with HIV/AIDS. TB is most prevalent in the developing world, with 22 countries comprising 80% of the TB cases in the world. Vaccination is critical to containing and eventually eliminating TB. The current TB vaccine, BCG, was developed over 80 years ago and is extremely limited in its efficacy. Aeras, in partnership with leaders in industry, academia, governments and foundations all over the world, is committed to developing and bringing to market a new, more effective TB vaccine by 2015, and has the largest pipeline of potential TB vaccines.
Aeras has a strong foundation for developing field sites, conducting Clinical Trials and implementing Professional Development Programs. Aeras currently has active field sites in India and South Africa. The latter of which has already conducted an 11,000 infant and adolescent randomized controlled trial. The site in India is about to start a similar study. Both sites are operating through agreements with leading health institutions in the burden country The commitment outlined here would expand this successful program into other high burden countries, utilizing the knowledge, skills and experience of Aeras staff and its global partners.
Aeras will raise $1 million per year over a 5 year period, and is seeking an additional $1 million per year over the same 5 years to fully develop field sites for TB vaccine Clinical Trials in high burden countries; and implement and disseminate its Professional Development Program. Aeras would particularly like to partner with business and other private organizations with an interest in the aforementioned countries. Aeras' work is based on the public-private partnership model, collaborating with governments, industry, academia and other organizations with the relevant knowledge and experience to successfully develop field sites in high burden countries. It uses the expertise of those organizations with worldwide experience in epidemiology and Clinical Trail operations such as KNCV of Netherlands and the Karolinska Institut of Sweden.