In 1993, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared tuberculosis (TB) a global emergency. Approx. 2 billion people are infected and 10 million people are estimated to have fallen ill with TB in 2019. In the same year approx. 1.4 million died because of TB. South Africa and other Sub-Saharan countries belong to the group of “high-burden” TB countries with an estimated total incidence of 360,000 TB cases in 2019 in South Africa alone.
In children BCG can protect against, or at least ameliorate, severe forms of systemic TB, particularly TB meningitis.
VPM1002 is an innovative live vaccine against TB, based on the well-known Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) strain which has been administered approximately 4 billion times worldwide.
The genetic modifications of VPM1002, namely introduction of listeriolysin while simultaneously deleting the gene for urease C in the BCG genome, are aiming for better recognition by the host immune system.