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TB vaccine developed at McMaster University

McMaster University researchers are about to launch Canada’s first tuberculosis (TB) vaccine clinical trial with a vaccine totally designed, manufactured and tested within McMaster.

"The exciting thing for McMaster is that this is translational research that has gone from the basic science where the vector has been designed here at McMaster, then manufactured here, with all the pre-clinical studies done at McMaster," said Dr. Fiona Smaill, a professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine.

Development of the vaccine for the landmark trial was led by Zhou Xing, a professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine. The vaccine was manufactured in the Robert E. Fitzhenry Vector Laboratory of the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Health on campus, Canada’s first university laboratory certified to provide vectors (delivery agents) for use in clinical trials in humans. Most of the pre-clinical testing of the vaccine was undertaken at McMaster.

The phase 1 clinical trial, which has the approval of Health Canada, will begin to recruit 48 healthy volunteers between 18 and 55 years of age in mid-April. Over 12 – 18 months researchers will evaluate the safety of the new vaccine (currently called AdAg85A vaccine) and assess blood samples from vaccinated healthy human volunteers to determine if the vaccine is generating a desired immune response. The trial will be conducted by a team of infectious disease physicians, vaccine manufacturing specialists and immunologists at McMaster.

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