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7 pharmaceutical companies join academic researchers to speed TB drug discovery
Date:6/25/2012

Seven pharmaceutical companies and four research institutions, working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have launched a groundbreaking partnership that aims to speed the discovery of essential new treatments for tuberculosis (TB).

The partnership, known as the TB Drug Accelerator (TBDA), will target the discovery of new TB drugs by collaborating on early-stage research. The long-term goal of the TBDA is to create a TB drug regimen that cures patients in only one month. Existing drugs, all at least 50 years old, require six months to cure the disease a lengthy process that contributes to 20-30% of patients dropping out before completion.

Aided by nearly $20 million from the Gates Foundation, partners officially launched the TBDA in April and have begun the first round of screening for new TB drug candidates. The TBDA aims to develop five new preclinical drug candidates with treatment-shortening potential within 5 years and proof-of-concept for a one-month three-drug regimen within 10 years.

"The TB Drug Accelerator establishes a new paradigm of cooperation in drug discovery," said Sanofi Chief Executive Officer Chris Viehbacher, speaking on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry partners. "By working together on this, we can optimize our research and speed the development of one of the most pressing needs in global health."

Through this partnership, the participating pharmaceutical companies -- Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Sanofi will open up targeted sections of their compound libraries and share data with each other and four research institutions: the Infectious Disease Research Institute; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health; Texas A&M University; and Weill Cornell Medical College. Breaking from traditional research and development practices, the companies will work together to develop the best prospects,
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Contact: Daniel Pawson
dpawson@globalhealthstrategies.com
718-873-3169
Global Health Strategies
Source:Eurekalert

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