Aeras is a nonprofit biotechnology organization developing new, effective tuberculosis (TB) vaccines that are affordable and accessible to all who need them. We work through partnerships in both the public and private sectors, with individuals, research organizations, academic institutions, funders, policymakers and others around the world to advance TB vaccine science and development.
Over the past decade, Aeras has made significant contributions to the marked progress of the TB vaccine field. Together with our partners and collaborators, we are advancing the best TB vaccine science and working toward a common goal of ending the threat of TB. Aeras’s headquarters are located in Rockville, Maryland, with offices in Cape Town, South Africa and Beijing, China.
The Urgent Need for New Vaccines
The world’s only TB vaccine, now over 90 years old, has failed to halt the global epidemic. WIth 10.4 million new cases and 1.8 million deaths from TB in 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called attention to “the need for prioritization and additional funding for TB vaccine research to develop a more effective vaccine to contribute to tuberculosis control.” A vaccine that prevents adolescents and adults from developing and transmitting the disease is an urgently needed and cost-effective tool to help end this epidemic.
Advancing Vaccine Candidates
Over the past decade, more than a dozen new TB vaccine candidates have been tested in human clinical trials around the world. Serving as a critical translational bridge from the bench to the field, Aeras has sponsored and conducted over 30 clinical and epidemiological studies in 15 different countries. Each of our partnerships is overseen by a joint project team and steering committee with the collaborating organization – an equal partner in all aspects of the product development. See the current global clinical portfolio of TB vaccine candidates.
Aeras is working to conduct trials more efficiently and to reduce risk by making strategic portfolio management decisions as early as possible, to focus resources on candidates with the highest probabilities of success. Terminating or proceeding with a candidate uses an objective set of scientific, clinical and business ‘Stage Gate’ criteria, established in collaboration with the European TB Vaccine Initiative (TBVI) and international experts, enabling transparency into go/no-go decisions.
Preclinical Research: Strength Through Diversity
Preclinical Research: Strength Through Diversity We work with partners around the world to support the advancement of promising candidates into the clinic. This process is meant to encourage innovation, strengthen the global TB vaccine portfolio and maximize the overall likelihood of success.
Advancing Vaccine Science
There is much to be learned about how TB vaccines need to work. Aeras is helping to develop new and improved human challenge and animal models of disease, and examining correlates of risk and protection to help accelerate vaccine development.
Translational and Experimental Medicine
Aeras uses innovative, adaptive trial designs with populations specifically selected to reduce trial size and cost. New, experimental medicine studies are also examining key immunological and clinical issues.
Advocacy and Resource Mobilization
Global spending on new TB vaccine development is just 25% of what is needed – part of a US$1.3 billion funding gap in 2013. Aeras aims to strengthen political will, and expand and diversify the funding base to help ensure long-term financial support for TB vaccine R&D.
Partnerships: Enhancing Knowledge and Capacity
No one organization or institution can conduct TB vaccine R&D alone. Aeras has built close partnerships with a variety of African, European, North American and Asian organizations. Aeras fosters the sharing of knowledge and strengthening research capacity in multiple countries, and has recently held more than 10 scientific and product development symposia on key aspects of TB vaccine development.
Aeras is primarily funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and European donor governments. We also receive support from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and National Institutes of Health, the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, and through partnerships and collaborations with universities and pharmaceutical companies around the world.