Looking Ahead: 2018

As the year draws to a close, Aeras is busy preparing for a rush of activity in the first quarter of 2018. In January, the leadership team will be joining other TB vaccine research stakeholders in Les Diablerets, Switzerland for TBVI’s annual symposium in January to discuss therapeutic vaccination and host-directed (immuno)therapy against TB, as well as to discuss progress in the field. In the meantime, Aeras is preparing for the 5th Global Forum on TB Vaccines in New Delhi, which is shaping up to be an exciting gathering of thought-leaders, advocates, and scientists from around the world.

Global Forum organizers recently announced that the keynote speaker this year will be Barry Bloom, Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson Research Professor of Public Health, Harvard University (USA), who will talk about why we need a vaccine to control TB and what we need to learn to develop an effective vaccine. For those looking to experience the TB field in action, there will be four site visits available for participants offering a unique opportunity to see firsthand how TB care and research is conducted at a variety of facilities and settings in India. Site visits include:

• International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)

• National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases (NITRD)

• Operation ASHA

• Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI)

Site visits are included with full registration. To assist the organizers and host institutions in planning the site visits, please register in advance through the online registration platform.

In addition to these important events, our main focus in the new year will be the results we expect from two different Phase 2 clinical trials: The first is evaluating the ability of Sanofi Pasteur vaccine candidate H4:IC31 and BCG to prevent sustained infection (POI) in adolescents in a high TB-burden setting. POI is a new study design that can be used to evaluate the biologic effect of a candidate before advancing to larger, longer and more costly prevention of disease studies. We expect data to be presented at the 5th Global Forum on TB Vaccines in late February. Primary results from another novel late-stage clinical trial for GSK vaccine candidate M72/AS01E testing prevention of disease are expected to follow mid-year. These results will offer great insights for the field at large, and offer an opportunity for learning that is essential for progress.