New Recombinant Tuberculosis BCG Vaccine for Immunocompromised Patients and Others

Tech ID: 20145 / UC Case 2006-539-0


UCLA researchers specializing in infectious diseases have developed an improved and safer method for producing recombinant vaccines that prevent or treat tuberculosis (TB) in immunocompromised patients and others.


The only currently available TB vaccine, an attenuated Mycobacterium bovis strain Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), is of variable efficacy. A large carefully conducted meta-analysis has estimated the potency of BCG to be approximately 50%. UCLA researchers developed and reported in the last several years a recombinant BCG expressing the Mycobacterium tuberculosis 30 kDa major secretory protein (r30). This vaccine, named rBCG30, induces greater protection than BCG against aerosol challenge with a highly virulent strain of M. tuberculosis.Immunocompromised individuals, such as HIV infected persons, are more susceptible to TB, and HIV infection significantly increases TB mortality. BCG has been used to vaccinate immunocompromised persons; however the live BCG vaccine can disseminate in an immunocompromised host and cause serious illness and even death. Therefore a safer TB vaccine is desired for immunocompromised individuals.


UCLA researchers have developed novel rBCG30 vaccines that are growth restricted in the immunized individual. These new vaccines are comparable to rBCG30 in potency, but unlike both BCG and rBCG30, they are unable to multiply more than a few times in the host and, consequently, they are unable to cause disease in the host, even in a severely immunocompromised individual. Like rBCG30, the new vaccines are more effective than BCG, the current vaccine, in the highly relevant and stringent outbred guinea pig model of pulmonary tuberculosis, a model that closely mimics human tuberculosis.


A safer and more potent vaccine against TB.


  • Safer and more effective vaccine for the treatment of TB in immunocompromised individuals and others
  • More efficacious than the currently available vaccine.

State of Development

This vaccine has been tested and proven effective in guinea pigs.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,163,294 04/24/2012 2006-539


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  • Horwitz, Marcus A.

Other Information


therapeutics vaccine TB Tuberculosis treatment therapy

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