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Accelerating research and development of new vaccines against tuberculosis: a global roadmap

Article published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases

Accelerating research and development of new vaccines against tuberculosis: a global roadmap

Authors: Prof Frank Cobelens PhDa, Rajinder Kumar Suri MScb, Michelle Helinski PhD, Michael Makanga PhDc, Ana LĂșcia Weinberg MScc, Britta Schaffmeister, MScd Frank Deege MScd, Prof. Mark Hatherill MDe, TB Vaccine Roadmap Stakeholder Group*

To eliminate tuberculosis globally, a new, effective, and affordable vaccine is urgently needed, particularly for use in adults and adolescents in low-income and middle-income countries. We have created a roadmap that lists the actions needed to accelerate tuberculosis vaccine research and development using a participatory process. The vaccine pipeline needs more diverse immunological approaches, antigens, and platforms. Clinical development can be accelerated by validated preclinical models, agreed laboratory correlates of protection, efficient trial designs, and validated endpoints. Determining the public health impact of new tuberculosis vaccines requires understanding of a country’s demand for a new tuberculosis vaccine, how to integrate vaccine implementation with ongoing tuberculosis prevention efforts, cost, and national and global demand to stimulate vaccine production. Investments in tuberculosis vaccine research and development need to be increased, with more diversity of funding sources and coordination between these funders. Open science is important to enhance the efficiency of tuberculosis vaccine research and development including early and freely available publication of study findings and effective mechanisms for sharing datasets and specimens. There is a need for increased engagement of industry vaccine developers, for increased political commitment for new tuberculosis vaccines, and to address stigma and vaccine hesitancy. The unprecedented speed by which COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and introduced provides important insight for tuberculosis vaccine research and development.

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