[November 28, 2018, WASHINGTON, D.C.] – TB Alliance and partners were honored today as the winner of the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) 2018 Innovating for Impact Partnership Award, for the development of improved child-friendly tuberculosis (TB) medicines. Since the improved medicines were introduced in 2016, 85 countries have procured more than 800,000 treatment courses. Appropriately-dosed and palatable, these new medicines are improving TB treatment and survival for the estimated one million children stricken with TB each year.
The award was accepted by TB Alliance CEO, Mel Spigelman, at a recognition dinner at the Newseum in Washington, DC before an audience of policymakers, US government officials, media, and leaders of the global health and medical research communities. The award is annually presented to an innovative research and development (R&D) partnership that has advanced a high-impact, game-changing global health technology. Honorees are chosen by a committee of global health experts.
“On behalf of TB Alliance and our partners, we are honored to receive this award. We are proud to have had the opportunity to improve treatment for children, perhaps the most neglected segment of TB sufferers, who still die in high numbers every year from a preventable and curable disease,” said Spigelman. “Our ultimate goal of ending the TB epidemic will require both new tools and collaborative approaches; we remain dedicated to advancing TB drug research, development and delivery with our partners worldwide, so we can one day realize a world in which every person with TB can be treated with an affordable, safe, short and effective therapy.”
TB Alliance and partners were recognized for the development of medicines that are palatable, fixed-dose combinations, easily administered at the dosages that WHO recommends for children. The medicines are quickly dispersible in liquid and fruit flavored to make it easy for caregivers to administer and for children to take.
TB kills approximately 210,000 children a year, making it one of the top 10 causes of pediatric deaths around the world. Until recently, crushed or broken bitter-tasting pills intended for adults were the only treatment options available for children, affecting adherence and rendering it challenging to deliver the proper dosages to children with TB.
In 2013, TB Alliance launched the initiative to improve treatment for children with TB, with support from Australian Aid, Irish Aid, Unitaid, USAID, UK Aid and other partners. Macleods Pharmaceuticals was the first manufacturer to do the scale-up and formulation work necessary to bring these products to market. The new medicines were rapidly developed and introduced and are currently available to order through the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility and directly through manufacturers.
“GHTC is thrilled to honor TB Alliance with the Innovating for Impact Partnership Award,” said Jamie Bay Nishi, director of GHTC. “Innovations in global health R&D have helped save millions of lives by generating new cures to fight the world’s deadliest diseases, and we’re so delighted to recognize the outstanding work of our honorees who help make this tremendous progress possible.”
In addition to recognizing TB Alliance, GHTC presented Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) each with a Congressional Champion Award for their support of policies and funding to transform breakthrough scientific research into lifesaving drugs, diagnostics, vaccines and other health tools for unmet global health challenges.
The award ceremony also included a panel discussion featuring Dr. Spigelman alongside Dr. Anna Laura Ross, Technical Manager, Strategy, Unitaid, and Cheri Vincent, Chief of the Tuberculosis Division at USAID. It was moderated by NPR journalist Kojo Nnamdi.
About TB Alliance
TB Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding faster-acting and affordable drug regimens to fight tuberculosis (TB). Through innovative science and with partners around the globe, we aim to ensure equitable access to faster, better TB cures that will advance global health and prosperity. TB Alliance operates with support from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research through KfW, Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, Irish Aid, Indonesia Health Fund, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United Kingdom Department for International Development, United Kingdom Department of Health, United States Agency for International Development, and the United States Food and Drug Administration.
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