Tuberculosis vaccine gets massive cash boost
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated US$82.9 million to support the development of a new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine. The cash injection more than doubles the annual amount spent on TB vaccines worldwide.
Globally, 2 billion people are infected with TB, and 2 million die from it every year. It is rife in developing countries but also on the rise in Europe and North America.
The new vaccine, a variant of the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) type, will undergo a nine-month trial in volunteers at a centre in North Carolina, United States. The money will also be used to push existing vaccines through clinical trials, and assist in the development of next-generation treatments.