Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Groundbreaking, lifesaving TB vaccine a step closer

08.10.2008
Researchers at Aberystwyth University, following a number of years of investment by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), have licensed ground-breaking research to a non-profit product development partnership working to develop new, more effective vaccines against Tuberculosis (TB). This development will give hope that significantly better prevention and treatment of TB will be available within the next few years.

The Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, which was founded to develop new, cost-effective TB vaccines for use in the developing world, has licensed a discovery of a protein that is able to 'wake up' dormant Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that cause TB.

The research and the fundamental knowledge that came out of it could be used to develop a vaccine that either stops infecting TB bacteria from taking hold or, for the one in every three people world-wide who are already carrying a latent TB infection, prevents dormant bacteria from 'waking up'. Another possible strategy could be to deliberately 'wake up' dormant bacteria in a controlled way so they can be destroyed with antibiotics.

In the late 1990s, researchers funded by BBSRC discovered a new family of proteins that were able to resuscitate bacteria found harmlessly in and around the human body. When 'awoken' from dormancy the bacteria were then much more susceptible to attack from antibiotics. The team led by Professors Mike Young and Doug Kell at Aberystwyth University together with Prof Arseny Kaprelyants of the Bakh Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, identified the gene in the bacterium that produced the protein and went on to discover the corresponding genes in M. tuberculosis. This research has now been licensed by Aeras after years of development. Aeras plans to take its recombinant BCG (AERAS-407) vaccine, based in part on the Aberystwyth work, to clinical trial in 2009.

Prof Young, now based in Aberystwyth University's newly formed Institute of Biological, Rural and Environmental Studies, said: "Current TB treatments can go on for over six months and can still leave bacteria in the body that can cause the disease when they resume active growth and multiplication. Our discovery, which is now being developed into a vaccine, might help prevent the establishment of persistent infections in the first place or, alternatively, it might prevent persisting organisms in individuals with latent TB from reawakening at all.

"TB kills around 1.7 million people around the world every year. I hope that our research will now be rapidly translated into a vaccine that can help as many of these people as possible."

Dr Alf Game, BBSRC Deputy Director of Research, said: "This discovery came out of research in the basic biology of a different bacterium. It shows that we need to strive to understand the fundamental workings of the world around us and from that we can identify how to tackle challenges, such as dangerous diseases, that we all face."

Press Office | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Closing in on advanced prostate cancer
13.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

nachricht Visualizing single molecules in whole cells with a new spin
13.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gecko adhesion technology moves closer to industrial uses

13.12.2017 | Information Technology

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research reveals how diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>