Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens (CPTR), an initiative that brings together the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, product development sponsors, diagnostic developers, researchers, regulatory agencies, and civil society organizations to speed the pace and impact of tuberculosis (TB) regimen development, highlights its fifth anniversary with the launch of a new website. The website, CPTRinitiative.org, reflects the coalition’s evolved focus on the next set of opportunities and challenges facing the development and introduction of novel TB drug regimens.
“CPTR has facilitated a new paradigm in TB drug development, one marked by collaboration and partnership,” explains Martha Brumfield, PhD, President and CEO of Critical Path Institute, which along with TB Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-founded CPTR in 2010. “However, the next phase of CPTR requires us to foster collaboration in other sectors to ensure the right solutions are being developed in lock-step with advances in the pipeline of treatments and the evolving TB epidemic.”
The specter of drug resistance casts a shadow on all aspects of tuberculosis treatment today. In response, CPTR has expanded its focus, which the website reflects, on the parallel development of new rapid drug susceptibility tests, which are critical to ensure new treatments are introduced and used appropriately. A section of the website will also house information on a new global TB data-sharing platform, which will help researchers understand how the genomic patterns of resistant TB are evolving.
Importantly, CPTRinitiative.org offers perspectives on what’s needed to help partners prepare today for the introduction of new regimens tomorrow. “CPTR has brought together key partners and advanced the science and practice of regimen development so that today, it is well accepted as a model that can dramatically speed the introduction of innovative TB regimens,” said Mel Spigelman, MD, President and CEO of TB Alliance. “With that progress, we now need to redouble our efforts to ensure the right tools are in place to guide the introduction of promising regimens in development so that they have maximum impact.”
The website itself will be an important tool to showcase new and existing collaborations as well as the thought leadership needed to meet the challenges facing the TB field today. Viewpoints from stakeholders will be posted including scientists, regulators, clinicians, patients, and advocates. Other resources on the website will include updates from the working groups comprising CPTR, information on new regimen trials, regulatory policies, tools to foster community engagement, and information on site capacity in the research field.
The World Health Organization reported that 1.5 million people die each year from TB, and more than nine million were diagnosed with the disease. Today’s TB treatment must be administered for 6 months. Treatment for drug-resistant TB, such as multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and the more deadly extensively drug resistant TB (XDR-TB), requires complex and expensive treatment regimens for more than 18 months and have higher mortality and lower treatment success rates. Only 20% of patients who are diagnosed globally receive treatment and of those, only about half will be cured. Accelerating new TB treatments is a global health priority, and CPTR is a critical effort that provides the tools and infrastructure to meet this challenge