Pharma companies form partnership to speed TB drug discovery

Hannah Blake




The TB Drug Accelerator, a partnership of seven pharmaceutical companies and four research institutions, has been launched with the aim to speed discovery of essential new treatments for tuberculosis (TB).


The Bill &amp, Melinda Gates Foundation has donated nearly US $20 million into this partnership, formed of pharmaceutical companies, Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Sanofi, along with four research institutions, the Infectious Diseases Research Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Texas A&amp,M University, and Weill Cornell Medical College.


The aim of the TB Drug Accelerator (TBDA) is to target the discovery of new TB drugs by collaborating on early-stage research. In the long term, the TBDA aims to create a TB drug regimen to cure patients within one month. Existing TB drugs require six months to cure the disease – a very lengthy process with a high patient drop-out rate.


Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that attacks the respiratory system and other organs, which killed nearly 1.4 million people in 2010 alone. At any given moment, over 12 million people around the world are suffering from active TB.

“The TB Drug Accelerator establishes a new paradigm of cooperation in drug discovery. By working together on this, we can optimize our research and speed the development of one of the most pressing needs in global health.”

Chris Viehbacher, Sanofi Chief Executive Officer, on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry partners.

The TBDA officially launched in April and has already begun the first round of screening for new TB drug candidates. Five new preclinical drug candidates with treatment-shortening potential are aimed to be developed within 5 years by the TBDA. It also aims to create proof-of-concept for a one-month three-drug regimen within 10 years.

“Finding new and faster-acting TB drugs will take a new kind of partnership, connecting not only academia and industry, but drug company with drug company. The TB Drug Accelerator is a historic experiment in innovative collaboration.”

Dr Carl Nathan, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

The TBDA is not the only partnership working to speed drug discovery for TB – Critical Pathways to TB Drug Regimens (CPTR) works with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development to speed the clinical development of new combination TB drug therapies. The efforts of the TBDA will compliment these existing collaborations to build a more robust drug discovery pipeline.




Related news:


Pharma cos join research institutions to speed up discovery of essential new treatments for TB (PharmaBiz)


Research for new TB drug launched (Deccan Herald)


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