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article imageNew tuberculosis vaccine developed in Spain

By Amanda Payne     Mar 1, 2012 in Health
Tuberculosis is a disease that is again on the rise with around a third of the world's population currently infected, mainly in third world countries. Now, a new vaccine has been developed in Spain.
The new vaccine, which has been developed by a firm called Biofabri with the backing of Zaragoza University and interest from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is expected to begin clinical trials on human patients very soon, according to an announcement on March 1.Carlos Martín, the Professor of Microbiology who led the team said :
"I hope the phase I trials will begin this year."
The current vaccine has been in use since 1920 and there are now a number of strains of tuberculosis that have become resistant to it, especially mycobacterium tuberculosis, according to El Pais. This new vaccine has taken twenty years to perfect.
Biobafri's website says the company has been working since 2008 "to research, develop and manufacture human vaccines." The site explains the development of the new vaccine:
"The new vaccine has been designed by the University of Zaragoza’s prestigious Division of Mycobacterial Research and was developed from a genetically modified bacterial strain using genetic engineering techniques. This vaccine is expected to replace the current BCG vaccine, given the protection it offers against pulmonary tuberculosis."
The Gates Foundation says that tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death in the world and states that it is working to help develop new methods of dealing with vaccine and drug resistant TB:
"We're working to develop and deliver innovative tools and approaches to help prevent, diagnose, and treat TB around the world."
Around 100.000 doses of the new vaccine are ready to be used in the human clinical trials later this year taking another step along the path to eradicating this disease permanently.
More about Spain, Tuberculosis, vaccine development, biofabri
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