New Global Alliance for TB Drug Development Pledges First Drug by 2010

January 14, 2002

The US-based Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, a one-year old private and public venture participation company has announced that it will develop the world's first potential drug for drug resistant TB by 2010. Five potential drug targets are identified and Global Alliance is now identifying the potential markets suitable for the drug because treatment for the infection differs from country to country.

Marie Freire, representing Global Alliance said that all efforts in this direction to find an effective, curable and inexpensive drug for resistant TB was underway.

Global Alliance has issued a Scientific Blueprint for TB Drug Development to provide a detailed, well researched document to guide scientists and investigators in academia, industry and the public sector in all aspects of TB drug discovery and development.

The blueprint outlines the status of TB epidemic, need for new chemotherapeutic agents, analysis of the current TB drug discovery- development environment, approaches to bridging the gap in R&D process that prevents the timely development of the new anti TB drugs, and guidelines to increase the chances of regulatory approval for an effective new treatment.

Dr. Freire, who is now in Bangalore for the International Symposium of Current Development in Drug Discovery for TB organised in association with AstraZeneca Research Foundation, India, Global Alliance and WHO, added that advances in TB drug research could not be made without investment by national and international health organisations, private sector, pharma-biotech industries, research institutes and others. "By combining resources into R&D efforts to develop a broad spectrum of potential drug candidates, the Global Alliance can make a vitally important contribution to eliminate TB from every country in the world," she said.

However, Dr. Freire was not in a position to quantify the investment made in this direction. But she said that the Global Alliance is in the process of building a portfolio of projects with varying levels of funding, management and ownership. "We will function as a lean, virtual R&D organisation that outsources R&D projects to public or private partners. Right now GlaxoSmithKline is working on TB research project for Global Alliance.