RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is turning over further development of its tuberculosis disease candidate to the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute for further development.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

A vaccine to treat TB in adolescents and adults is not available, GSK notes. They make up nearly 90 percent of TB victims.

TB is the world’s deadliest infectious disease killer, causing 1.5 million deaths in 2018 while infecting 10 million people.

GSK said that the Gates MRI “will lead vaccine candidate development and sponsor future clinical trials. GSK will provide the AS01 adjuvant for this development program.”

“Today’s new agreement signals a new and exciting phase in our efforts to improve global public health through medical innovation,” said Philip Thomson, President, Global Affairs at GSK, in a statement. “For us, this type of alliance means we can take a more sustainable approach to global health, focussing our efforts and expertise on science and research, while partnering with others to ensure their development and delivery.”

GSK maintains operations in the Triangle and a manufacturing plant in Zebulon.

The full announcement can be read online.