TB Alliance: Putting science to work for a faster TB cure

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China Pioneers International R&D Center for Global Health

First Chinese Product Development Partnership joins Public and Private Sectors to Advance Health in China and Around the World

[BEIJING, China, Beijing]The International Scientific Exchange Foundation of China (ISEFC), a technical public  foundation dedicated to promoting and advancing scientific development, cooperation, and exchange, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), a nonprofit organization with the mission of discovering and developing new, affordable, faster-acting drugs for tuberculosis, to work together to establish the Global Health R&D Center of China (GHRC), a world-class organization focused on developing innovative new treatments for public health diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS.

“The GHRC will give China the tools it needs to play a leading role in eradicating the diseases that threaten global public health,” says Hui Yongzheng, the Chairman of the ISEFC Committee. “It will be a center of excellence, which can harness international innovation and China’s growing research and development capabilities to meet the public health needs of the Chinese people and the rest of the world.”

The GHRC will be the first Chinese not-for-profit Product Development Partnership (PDP), and facilitate collaboration between public and private entities, including the Chinese government, pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, and others, in the pursuit of new, affordable innovations that will help address neglected diseases and improve global health.

“The vision of the GHRC is to focus on translational medicine for public health and bridge the innovation gap that currently exists into new treatments and cures,” says Geng Jianyue, the Secretary-General Assistant of ISEFC. “We are honored to be leading this initiative and mobilizing the resources needed to make it successful.”

ISEFC and the TB Alliance announced this collaboration today, on World TB Day, in recognition of the growing problem of tuberculosis. TB kills nearly 2 million people each year or 1 person every 20 seconds. China has the second highest prevalence of TB in the world. Each year, 1.3 million patients develop active TB in China and 150,000 people die from it.

“We are excited to partner with ISEFC in this historic endeavor and make available promising technology for TB,” says Dr. Mel Spigelman, President and CEO of the TB Alliance, a global PDP that is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and several governments, and which has a rich history of collaboration with partners both inside China and around the world. “The TB Alliance has developed the largest pipeline of potential new TB drugs in the world and the creation of the GHRC will help to ensure that these promising new therapies will be developed and available to TB patients in China.”

There have been no new TB drugs in nearly 50 years and the current treatment is inadequate to tackle today’s complex epidemic. Current TB regimens take 6 months to treat drug-sensitive TB, two years or longer for drug-resistant TB. The difficulty in adhering to such long regimens fuels the further development of even more drug-resistant TB, which is an increasing global health threat. TB is the leading killer of HIV patients, but the available TB treatments can interact with commonly used HIV/AIDS drugs, thereby limiting their use in HIV/TB co-infected patients. New more effective TB drugs are needed to fight the spread of this insidious disease and defeat this global killer. 

About the International Scientific Exchange Foundation of China (ISEFC)The International Scientific Exchange Foundation of China (ISEFC) is a non-profit foundation dedicated to enhancing international and domestic exchange in Science and Technology, promoting commercialization of technology and awarding outstanding contributors.  ISEFC has organized various conferences, forums, seminars and discussion panels to facilitate the development, cooperation and exchange among government, academy, industry, universities and investment institutions. ISEFC is working diligently to build up a mechanism that can bring scientific ideas, technical innovations, and industrial development for prosperity of the society. For undeveloped regions, ISEFC has launched the “Spring Rain Project” and successfully built 222 local stations to provide technological and education assistance.  For more information please visit www.isefc.org.cn.

About the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development

The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding faster-acting and affordable drug regimens to fight tuberculosis. Through innovative science and with partners around the globe, we aim to ensure equitable access to faster, better TB cures that will advance global health and prosperity. The TB Alliance operates with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, the United States Agency for International Development, the European Commission, and the United States Food and Drug Administration. For more information please visit www.tballiance.org.

About the Product Development Partnerships (PDPs)

PDPs are a class of public–private partnerships that focus on pharmaceutical product development for neglected diseases. PDPs bridge public- and private-sector interests. With a mission-centered approach, they work to resolve the incentive and financial barriers to increased industry involvement in the development of safe and effective pharmaceutical products for underserved populations and non profitable markets.

For more information, please contact:

Joanna Breitstein

Director, Communications for the TB Alliance

Joanna.breitstein@tballiance.org   / Cell +(917) 361 0683