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Trailblazing Russian tuberculosis vaccine may be ready for the market in 2019

February 14, 18:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine invented more than a century ago is currently used in Russia

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. The first Russian tuberculosis vaccine could be registered as early as 2019, Project Coordinator and Head of the Translational Biomedicine Laboratory at the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology Artyom Tkachuk told reporters on Wednesday.

"If everything gets off the ground, we plan to complete the research cycle in 2019, and then the issue of registering our vaccine at the Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare and its entry into the market will be raised," he said.

Tkachuk recalled that the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine invented more than a century ago is currently used in Russia. "The BCG is living bacteria. Our vaccine is produced from components using biotechnology under controlled conditions, it is not a living bacterium. The complications that occur following a BCG vaccination can be due to the fact that this is a live vaccine," he explained.

According to Tkachuk, work to create this vaccine began back in 2010. The first phase of clinical trials that involved 60 volunteers ended in late 2017. The second phase of clinical trials, which will involve 300 volunteers, is expected this year, with about 60 mln rubles ($1.03 mln) earmarked for the purpose.

He added that today, incidences of TB in Russia come to about 60 cases per 100,000 people, which is several times higher than in European countries but much lower than in the Asian countries.

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