State Serum Institute granted major sum from Gates Foundation  

A tuberculosis vaccine project at SSI has been granted USD 11.3 mn from the Global Health Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Global Health Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has granted State Serum Institute (SSI), a Danish state owned company engaged in prevention and control of infectious diseases, USD 11.3 mn (DKK 69.6 mn) to support a tuberculosis vaccine project. The Gates Foundation received more than 1,500 bids from scientists after announcing its intention in 2003 to fund research into tackling disease in the world's poorest countries.

Niels Strandberg Pedersen, managing director of SSI says the grant is a great acknowledgment of the vaccine research at SSI: "It will make it possible in the long term to develop a new tuberculosis vaccine for the benefit of millions of people around the world".

About a third of the global population, the majority of whom are in the developing countries, are today infected with tuberculosis. In most of the infected individuals the bacterium remains latent throughout life, but in many the disease breaks out as infectious tuberculosis, and some 3 million people die annually as a result. There is thus a great need for a vaccine which can be given to people who are infected to prevent the lethal disease from developing. It is such a vaccine that the researchers at SSI aim to develop in collaboration with 7 international research groups. The news is reported by BBC and on SSI's website.

Link > SSI 

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