Within the last month, the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine has received three major grants for research on tuberculosis vaccines.
The Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation and the Dutch biotechnology company Crucell have provided funds for SATVI to launch a phase-I clinical trial of an adenovirus-based tuberculosis vaccine. The trial is being conducted at the SATVI field site in the Worcester region. Aeras has also invested around US$10 million (Â± R71.5 million) over the past six years to develop the core infrastructure at SATVI by sponsoring TB-vaccine related research.
In addition, SATVI, together with the University of Oxford and the University of Dakar, has received a â‚¬5million (Â± R48 million) contract, over five years, from the European Union's EuropeAID initiative to further research into another new TB vaccine, MVA85A. At least half of the money will be coming to SATVI for MVA85A clinical trials.
SATVI is also one of two African partners in the TB Research Unit consortium, led by Dr Henry Boom at Case Western University in the US, which has received a US$27 million (Â± R193 million) contract over seven years from the National Institutes of Health in the US.
'We are pleased to be playing such an important role in the global effort to develop new vaccines against TB,' said SATVI leader, Professor Greg Hussey.
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