Message from the CEO
What we’re on the verge of doing is really translating the results of 2016 into regimens that can be proven and implemented in the very near future, and hopefully be the source of saving millions of lives of TB patients.
For TB Alliance, 2016 was a year of impact, where we saw pivotal research come to fruition and our first products reach the patients who need them.
Over the past year, countries began to purchase and roll out improved medicines for children that, for the first time, were in the correct doses and designed specifically for them. In the first year following launch, more than 326,000 treatment courses were ordered by 36 countries. That’s enough to meet the needs of about 90% of the children reported to have TB and could be the most successful introduction of TB medicines to date.
For donors, partners, countries, and especially for families and children with TB, this represents a significant achievement and hopefully paves the way for a new era where new treatments are not only developed quickly, but also made available to children soon after their availability for adults.
This year was also an incredibly important one for R&D activities. Currently, countries are fighting the TB pandemic, with suboptimal regimens, which have mostly been unchanged for decades. Results from TB Alliance’s NC-005 and Nix-TB trials point to the possibility of a single, short and simple common therapy for virtually all people with drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant TB, and a closely related treatment for those with extensively drug-resistant TB or XDR-TB. These tools would enable the dramatic scale-up needed so that every person with TB has access to simple, fast, effective, and affordable treatment.
The research and work underpinning these clinical development achievements started many years ago. Given the long lead time needed to discover and develop impactful new therapies, we cannot stop the search for the next breakthrough regimens. We are proud to report that, in terms of our discovery work, we have never had a more productive year. We have seen more drug candidates have been advanced into preclinical development in 2016 than in the past five years combined, and are hopeful that we can continue a steady stream of new drug candidates in the years ahead.
None of the above would be possible without strong support of all our partners, including donors, researchers from both the public and private sectors, governments, civil society organizations, and others, most of all the clinical trial participants.
We are having an impact — but there is much more to do. Please join with us as we strive to make the critical progress needed to realize the promise of new and better treatments for all TB patients.