Johnson & Johnson’s India-based business has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) to discover and develop new treatments for tuberculosis (TB).
Based in Chandigarh, India, IMTECH is part of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
CSIR-IMTECH director Dr Anil Koul said: “TB remains a significant challenge in India, killing approximately half a million people in 2015 alone.
“The partnership we have announced today with Johnson & Johnson has the potential to accelerate our work in support of India’s National Strategic Plan, our accelerated action plan to end TB by 2025, and most importantly save lives.”
Under the collaboration, scientists from Johnson & Johnson’s global public health team will work in collaboration with researchers from CSIR-IMTECH on a research and development programme.
As part of the project, the teams will investigate potentially more effective, safer, all-oral treatment regimens to tackle multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), as well as new molecular entities to treat all TB patients.
Johnson & Johnson chief scientific officer Dr Paul Stoffels said: “We are united with India in our determination to make TB history.
“While we have made great advances in recent years with the approval of new TB medicines, much more needs to be done.
“By bringing together some of India’s brightest minds with our scientists, we increase the potential to achieve major research breakthroughs that can lead to innovative new treatments for the millions of people in India and around the world who suffer from TB.”
The new partnership builds on nearly 20 years of TB research and development carried out by Johnson & Johnson, which led to the approval of bedaquiline, the company's first new TB treatment in approximately 50 years.