The TuBerculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI) is a non-profit foundation that facilitates the discovery and development of new, safe and effective TB vaccines that are accessible and affordable for all people. As a Product Development Partnership (PDP), TBVI integrates, translates and prioritises R&D efforts to discover and develop new TB vaccines and biomarkers for global use. TBVI provides essential services that support the R&D efforts of its consortium partners – 50 partners from academia, research institutes and private industry in the TB vaccine field.
Need for new vaccines
Tuberculosis is a terrible disease and an urgent global health problem. About one third of the world population is infected with the bacterium that causes it and the disease has an annual incidence of 8.8 million new cases and a death toll of approximately 1.5 million people per year. The global economic cost of TB is estimated to be hundreds of billions of dollars. The impact on society is equally astonishing exemplified by the fact that some 10 million children have been orphaned due to TB. Modelling studies predict that vaccines that prevent TB in adults and adolescents and that prevent TB in latently infected individuals will have the strongest impact on the TB epidemic. Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), currently the only available vaccine is not effective in these populations. This vaccine, used since 1921, can protect children from severe forms of tuberculosis. However, BCG has little to no efficacy in preventing pulmonary TB in (young) adults, the most common and most infectious form of tuberculosis. Moreover, there are serious safety concerns regarding the use of BCG in HIV infected newborns.
Current global TB control programs, based on Direct Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS), using a cocktail of four drugs, are hampered by the increasing emergence of (multi)drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) strains. Patients with (multi)drug-resistant Mtb require long treatment regimens with more toxic and more expensive drugs that cause great suffering and are not globally accessible. The number of suspected multidrug resistant TB cases is rapidly increasing (650.000 cases identified in 2010), and forms a threat to both the developing and the developed world. TBVI supports the discovery and development of globally accessible and affordable therapeutic vaccines that shorten treatment of drug-resistant TB.
On suggestion of the European Commission, in 2008, the TuBerculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI) was founded to collect additional funds from governments, non-governmental organizations, foundations, private industry and other private funders.
Funding and support
TBVI's activities are funded by: