Scientists outline plans for tuberculosis drug development

The PreDiCT-TB consortium and the Critical Path to TB Regimens (CPTR) have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding outlining plans to co-ordinate their activities in the area of TB drug development methodology.

Tuberculosis remains a major killer amongst infectious diseases and patients must take six months of treatment to be certain of a cure.

PreDiCT-TB and CPTR are joining forces in order to tackle important obstacles to the development of combinations of old and new anti-tuberculosis drugs which could shorten treatment.

PreDiCT-TB is a public-private partnership funded by the EU Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), comprising three major European pharmaceutical partners (GSK, Sanofi and Janssen), two SMEs (ZF Screens, Microsens Medtech) and sixteen academic partners co-ordinated by the University of Liverpool.

Martha Brumfield, President and CEO of the Critical Path Institute, said:  “TB is a global killer, and it will take global solutions to defeat this insidious disease.  We are honoured to join with the Innovative Medicines Initiative and bring our consortia together in a bold effort to accelerate effective treatments of TB.”

Michel Goldman, Executive Director of IMI, said: “There is an urgent need to develop shorter, more effective treatment regimens to tackle this deadly disease.  By coordinating activities, PreDiCT-TB and CPTR will ensure that the resources invested by both the pharmaceutical companies and the public sector are optimally used to achieve the projects’ ambitious goals.”

The multidisciplinary consortium brings together experts in microbiology, pharmacology, engineering, mathematical modelling and clinical trials to create a new integrated framework for TB drug development, making optimal use of preclinical information to design the most efficient clinical trials.

CPTR brings together world-leading pharmaceutical and other drug developers, global regulatory agencies, and civil society organizations to support advances in regulatory science, the development of infrastructure, and other progress needed to facilitate the development and availability of new TB drug treatments.

Co-founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Critical Path Institute, and the TB Alliance, CPTR is working with stakeholders around the world to advance a new paradigm that dramatically speeds new TB drug regimens to patients.

Both initiatives have begun to share ideas and resources that could significantly strengthen the fight against the disease. Initial priorities will include building a comprehensive database of clinical trials in tuberculosis and developing more sophisticated modelling approaches to preclinical and clinical data which would be suitable for regulatory qualification.

This new partnership marks a global scientific effort across the public and private sectors to bring innovative and integrated approaches to the science underpinning the development of new drugs in tuberculosis and accelerate their arrival in the clinic.

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