The TB Alliance announced on May 25 that it is receiving $104 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance its pipeline of new TB drugs over the next five years.
"Tuberculosis is one of the world’s oldest infectious agents and has always posed challenges for the scientific community. But now, we have the technology and the know-how to find a faster, simpler cure," said Peter Small, M.D., Senior Program Officer at the Gates Foundation. This is the second Gates Grant to the TB Alliance, and quadruples the foundation’s initial support.
This new funding will allow the TB Alliance, in collaboration with Bayer HealthCare AG, to advance moxifloxacin into Phase III trials with the goal of demonstrating its effectiveness against TB by 2010. The new funding will also allow the TB Alliance to: pursue nine preclinical projects and identify the best of these compounds for clinical studies; work with policymakers, TB treatment providers and advocates to ensure that new TB drugs will be adopted and made accessible in developing countries; and analyze drug market conditions and compliance issues to ensure the rapid adoption of an effective new drug regimen.
The TB Alliance is calling for matching funds from governments, and estimates that it will need an additional $100 million in order to fully advance the existing pipeline of 11 drugs. "It’s a global disease and it requires a global response. Leaders meeting at the G-8 in July have an historic opportunity to fill the funding gap and ensure that we achieve one of the great global health victories of our generation," said Dr. Maria C. Freire, CEO and President, TB Alliance.