According to an ICMR-NARI scientist, India could develop a tuberculosis vaccine by 2024.
Two years from now, India could have a tuberculosis vaccine, with phase-3 clinical trials of two candidates expected to end in 2024.
Dr. Suchit Kamble, a scientist at the ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) in Pune, told us that trials are currently underway to assess the efficacy and safety of two tuberculosis vaccine candidates, VPM1002 and Immunovac, in preventing tuberculosis in healthy household contacts of newly diagnosed sputum positive pulmonary TB patients.
To meet India’s aim of eliminating tuberculosis by 2025, new tuberculosis vaccinations are desperately needed.
“A phase-3, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to examine the efficacy and safety of VPM1002 and Immunovac vaccines in preventing tuberculosis is being held at 18 sites across six states,” Kamble told PTI.
The trial’s enrollment of 12,000 participants aged six and up is now complete, and their follow-up will last until 2024.
The main location in Maharashtra is the ICMR-NARI, which has enrolled 1,593 healthy family contacts. For the next 38 months, these individuals will be followed up on at regular intervals. By February 2024, the last follow-up at the Pune site should be completed.
“Based on scientific discoveries, we draw conclusions on efficacy and safety after analysing the data” of these vaccines. We are hoping that India will have a good, effective vaccine against TB by 2024 or, at the most, by 2025,” Kamble said.
When a family member has a sputum smear-positive case, the risk of TB transmission to household contacts is somewhat higher. The BCG vaccine is currently administered to infants at the moment of delivery. The Indian Council of Medical Research is funding the study (ICMR).
“The ICMR-NARI is working on a number of fronts to help India achieve its objective of eliminating tuberculosis. This includes multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) therapy trials as well as TB vaccine trials “Dr. Priya Abraham, Director of the National Institute of Virology (NIV), stated.