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IDRI Awarded $314,500 Grant From Murdock Trust to Expand TB Drug Discovery Program
Date:6/25/2009

SEATTLE, June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Infectious Disease Research Institute today announced it has received a $314,500 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. This new funding will support IDRI's efforts to better understand the mechanisms of tuberculosis (TB) disease and ultimately identify new drugs to treat it.

TB is a contagious disease spread by tiny droplets in the air and can be hard to avoid. A seemingly insignificant cough from an infected person can spread the infection. Nearly 2 million people die of TB every year and one-third of the planet is infected. With the emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extensively-drug resistant (XDR) TB strains, the disease is becoming deadlier. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020 almost one billion people would have contracted TB, with 35 million dying from it.

"Most people believe that TB is a disease of the past or only a disease associated with significant poverty in developing countries, but TB is actually a global problem that threatens developed countries as well," said Professor Tanya Parish, the Principal Investigator for the grant at IDRI. "While XDR-TB is spreading dangerously with cases now reported in 55 countries, no truly novel TB drug has been developed for use in over 40 years. We urgently need new and more effective drugs to fight against TB."

IDRI's TB Drug Discovery Program was created in 2007 with the objective of discovering drugs that shorten the standard tuberculosis antibiotic treatment and new ways to treat drug-resistant forms of the disease. As part of this new endeavor, IDRI joined Eli Lilly and Company and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to form the Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative, a unique public-private partnership dedicated to accelerating early-stage TB drug discovery.

"This is the second grant we have received from the Murdock Trust and we are very appreciative of their renewed support to IDRI's mission against neglected diseases," commented Dr Steve Reed, Founder and Head of IDRI's Research and Development Program. "This funding is essential so that we can harness the most promising science to discover new TB drugs as quickly as possible so as to address this global emergency affecting millions of lives."

IDRI is dedicated to developing products not only to treat, but also to detect and prevent TB. IDRI's scientists have been working on TB vaccine development for more than 15 years under several grants and contracts from the NIAID. This multi-pronged approach aims at bringing the highest value to the global community.

About the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

The mission of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust is to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest by providing grants and enrichment programs to organizations seeking to strengthen the region's educational, spiritual, and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. In addition to a special interest in education and scientific research, the Trust partners with a wide variety of organizations that serve the arts, public affairs, health and medicine, human services, leadership development, and persons with disabilities.

For more information on the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, go to www.murdock-trust.org

IDRI-Translating science into global health solutions

IDRI is a Seattle-based not-for-profit organization committed to applying innovative science to the research and development of products to prevent, detect and treat infectious diseases of poverty. By integrating capabilities, IDRI strives to create an efficient pathway bringing scientific innovation from the lab to the people who need it most.

In 2007, IDRI received a first grant from the from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for core research equipment.

For more information on IDRI, go to www.idri.org.

For more information on the Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative, go to www.tbdrugdiscovery.org


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SOURCE Infectious Disease Research Institute
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