The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an award of $2.9m to support six research projects that could assist with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tuberculosis.

The announcement follows articles published by the FDA’s Office of Critical Path Programmes claiming that advances in tuberculosis drug development were urgently needed to shorten therapy and treat drug-resistant disease.

The six research projects, funded with congressional support, include the discovery of biological and immunological biomarkers for vaccines, the development of a repository of clinical trial specimens and qualifying new pre-clinical models for the development of tuberculosis drug combinations.

FDA Commissioner Margaret A Hamburg said that the FDA “recognised an urgent need for public health institutions to promote this neglected area of medical therapeutics”.