Film highlights TB epidemic in China and China’s crucial role in eliminating TB worldwide

Aeras launches new film about TB vaccine research and development

March 25, 2014, 4:58 p.m.

March 21, 2014 – Beijing, China - A short documentary film exploring the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic in China has been launched by Aeras, a nonprofit biotech advancing tuberculosis vaccines for the world. “Hope: Developing Safe and Effective Vaccines to Fight TB” highlights China’s desire and innovative leadership in solving the global problem of TB. The film includes Chinese researchers who are leading the way in developing new vaccines to prevent tuberculosis. Featuring patients, doctors and top TB vaccine researchers, Hope illuminates China’s unique role in ending the global tuberculosis epidemic.

“This film tells the important story of China’s leadership in halting the tuberculosis epidemic through the development of new vaccines,” said Dr. Hao Shen, professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. “I am honored to be a part of this story, along with my colleagues in China who are dedicated to research that will ultimately prevent TB all over the world.”

While China has achieved significant reductions in TB illness and death over the past 30 years, TB remains a major public threat, with over one million new cases in China each year. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012 found that one in 10 cases of TB in China are resistant to the most commonly-used drugs. Based on the World Health Organization’s estimates of global multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), China has the highest annual number of cases of MDR-TB in the world—a quarter of the cases worldwide.

“China’s commitment to ending the TB epidemic would have implications across the globe,” said Dr. Sharon Chan, head of the Aeras Asia office. “Aeras understands the importance of engaging in active partnerships with China to find the ultimate solution to this age-old threat: new, more effective TB vaccines.”

Aeras is seeking collaborations across the continuum of TB vaccine research and development, from preclinical and clinical research to vaccine manufacturing. To date, Aeras has built a significant number of collaborations with a diverse array of organizations. Aeras partners with the China National Biotec Group (CNBG), CanSino, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), and other Chinese research organizations and universities. To effectively identify and take forward these opportunities, Aeras established an office in Beijing. The Aeras Asia office, in close collaboration with global staff and partners, drives the strategy to further engage and optimize China’s role in TB vaccine development.

Read this press release in Chinese.

Watch the Chinese version of "Hope: Developing Safe and Effective Vaccines to Fight TB" here.

Watch the English version of "Hope: Developing Safe and Effective Vaccines to Fight TB" here.

Read the Chinese version of the fact sheet here.

Read the English version of the fact sheet here.

About Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is the world's second deadliest infectious disease, after HIV/AIDS. Current guidelines require a minimum of six to nine months of treatment. TB is changing and evolving, making new vaccines more crucial for controlling the epidemic. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death for people living with HIV/AIDS. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) are hampering treatment and control efforts by making the disease more difficult to treat. Various modelling studies have shown how a new vaccine that could prevent adolescents and adults from developing and transmitting TB would be the single most cost-effective tool in mitigating the epidemic.

About Aeras

Aeras is a global nonprofit biotech advancing TB vaccines for the world. In collaboration with global partners in Africa, Asia, North America and Europe, Aeras is supporting the clinical testing of six experimental vaccines as well as a robust portfolio of earlier stage candidates. Aeras is based in Rockville, Maryland, Cape Town, South Africa, and Beijing, China.

Source: Aeras