Tuberculosis Vaccines: A Strategic Blueprint for the Next Decade, published in March 2012, maps out the top five key research and development priorities for the next decade. Highest among these priorities is the discovery of biomarkers and correlates of protection, which could help predict vaccine efficacy earlier in the development process.
Although progress in the laboratory and the field has been made, TB researchers still have limited understanding of what constitutes protective immunity in different age groups and among different populations. Neither animal models nor early stage clinical trials have been able to predict protection, necessitating the evaluation of efficacy in long, protracted and costly late-stage clinical trials.
Researchers are optimistic that biomarkers and correlates of protection could be better identified within the next several years with intensified efforts and adequate resources. To accelerate these efforts, Aeras has initiated a Biomarkers and Correlates Working Group (BCWG) comprised of some of the top TB scientists in the world.