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February 28, 2020

GSK and partners launch TB treatments collaboration

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has partnered with several companies and organisations to expedite the development of treatments for tuberculosis (TB).

Besides GSK, the consortium comprises Evotec, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The collaboration aims to deliver ‘pan-TB’ drug regimens that are Phase III ready with limited to no drug resistance. Also, the therapies are expected to be safe and better-tolerated with shorter duration and more manageable usage in comparison to current treatments.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation global health president Trevor Mundel said: “Current tools are insufficient for accelerating and sustaining global progress against TB.

“Innovative partnerships, such as the PAN-TB collaboration, are urgently needed to develop new drugs and treatment regimens that can address TB and advance progress towards achieving global elimination TB goals.”

The existing regimen for drug-sensitive TB treatments involves several drugs under six or more months of dosing. However, this regimen is not suitable for drug-resistant TB, which requires more complex regimens that commonly have side effects.

Commenting on the development of new therapies, GSK said: “The regimens that the PAN-TB collaboration is working to develop could help transform TB care.

“A shorter and safer novel regimen that can treat TB irrespective of pre-existing drug resistance and with reduced need for drug resistance testing, could provide a significant benefit to both patients and health systems.

The consortium will find and investigate potential pan-TB regimens, through a number of Phase II efficacy studies. The partners have already commenced pre-clinical research activities.

As part of the PAN-TB collaboration, members will leverage their collective assets, resources and scientific expertise. The partners will closely work with the European Regimen Accelerator for Tuberculosis (ERA4TB).

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