New York, USA: TB Alliance has received a grant from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) to support the advancement of new tuberculosis cures that have the potential to save millions of lives. DFID’s investment in the TB Alliance builds on previous grants and comes at a crucial time, as several treatments in the organization’s pipeline are in late-stage testing and are poised to deliver near-term impact. These projects show promise to markedly improve TB therapy, including drug-resistant TB, pediatric TB, and HIV/TB co-infection.
DFID’s grant to TB Alliance funds the development of urgently needed new TB regimens that can tackle the global TB pandemic and the work to ensure these treatments obtain maximal uptake. Support for TB Alliance’s efforts are part of DFID’s total investment of £138 million over the next five years into nine public-private partnerships to support the development of innovative new drugs, vaccines, insecticides, diagnostic tools, and microbicides to prevent, diagnose, or treat some of the world’s most deadly and neglected diseases.
Today, complex TB drug regimens must be taken for six to months to 2 years or even longer. These lengthy and demanding treatment programs with their associated side effects prove overly burdensome for many patients, frequently resulting in erratic or inconsistent compliance which can lead to drug resistance, treatment failure, or death. TB kills 1.4 million people each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and disproportionately impacts impoverished and vulnerable populations.
Since its establishment, the TB Alliance and its partners have developed the largest pipeline of new TB drugs in history. “We are extremely grateful for DFID’s sustained and generous support of improved TB therapy,” said Mel Spigelman, MD, President and CEO of TB Alliance. “TB Alliance is excited about the promise of our pipeline, and it is donors like DFID that make it possible to transform scientific promise into new tools that can improve the health and prosperity of people around the world.”