The Future of TB Treatment
TB Alliance manages the largest pipeline of new TB drugs in history and has advanced multiple products to market. Projects with the potential to have the greatest impact on the disease, while being cost-effective and simple to administer, are prioritized. Finding short, effective, and simple regimens is our goal.
Our researchers are exploring ways to improve the treatment experience for patients. One area that may have potential is learning how immunotherapy can be used to improve the treatment experience for TB patients, and by learning from the success that the approach has had for people with other diseases like cancer.
Today, the advances that have been made in the understanding of immune modulation, as well as the biology of TB, coupled with progress in artificial intelligence, offers a real promise of achieving a significantly shorter treatment regimen that can help achieve global goals of ending the TB pandemic.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) awarded TB Alliance a Center of Excellence in Translational Research (CETR) grant for TB drug development, which is being carried out with partners at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, and Research Triangle Institute. Throughout 2020, this partnership advanced the identification and optimization of various molecules and candidates through early-stage discovery phases. Despite many lab closures and complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CETR projects continued to meet program goals.
In a partnership announced in June 2020, TB Alliance will make use of InveniAI’s AI and machine learning platform, AlphaMeld®, to identify and accelerate transformative therapies for the management, treatment, and cure of TB through an AI driven analysis of immunomodulatory pathways and targets with greatest impact on bacterial clearance.
Developing Treatments Against NTM
In 2019, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation collaborated with TB Alliance to advance a drug discovery program in partnership with Johns Hopkins University for the treatment of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), which are increasingly found among people with cystic fibrosis. In 2020, the initiative successfully identified lead compounds from two different series with the potential to treat NTM infections. NTM infections are difficult to treat, requiring antibiotics for a year or longer with no guarantee of a cure, and with a risk of serious side effects. Identifying these compounds will enable program researchers to develop a new treatment, or treatments, that are improved over currently available medicines.