Reuters (01.17.12) - Thursday, January 19, 2012
The China National Biotech Group (CNBG) is joining with the
nonprofit TB vaccine development group Aeras to design new
vaccines against the disease. China has identified TB as one
of its top priorities, given its high burden of the disease.
"Our cooperation with Aeras includes vaccine design, pre-
clinical research, clinical trials, production and sales,"
said Yang Xiaoming, CNBG's president. "The ideal vaccine
should guard against all strains of TB, including drug-
Both parties will screen their catalogs to identify the most
promising candidates, said Jim Connolly, president and CEO of
"From where we are, to develop a vaccine in China is going to
take at least seven to 10 years," Connolly said. "The cost to
develop vaccines ultimately goes into tens if not hundreds of
millions of dollars, both in direct costs of developing it as
well as the costs of all the failures. They have a very strong
emerging technical capability, and the government has
If a product advances to clinical trials, these will include
patients from China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa, Connolly
said. "This is not developing vaccines just for China, but
also to be used in other parts of the world," and making the
vaccine affordable to patients everywhere, he said.