n. TB remains the main killer of people with HIV, in large part because existing TB drugs and tests are poorly adapted for use in people with HIV/AIDS.
"In TB research, there needs to be a convergence of innovation, incentive, and access," said Dr. Carl Nathan, Rees Pritchett Professor of Microbiology and Chairman of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College. "We need to see openness, leadership and collaboration among all TB actors."
Experts attending the symposium emphasized several actions that urgently need to be taken to improve the situation:
· Drastically increase funding of TB R&D
· Accelerate drug discovery
· Expand clinical trial capacity and speed up clinical development
· Commit to global TB R&D leadership
· Support new approaches to R&D, such as a global R&D framework
"We need increased clinical trial capacity, fast-tracked clinical trials, and criteria for compassionate use of important candidate drugs," said Dr. von Schoen-Angerer. "To make any real difference, we need to see a dramatic increase in funding and political will."
The symposium emphasized a need to build a global TB R&D movement, as was critical to the advancements in HIV drug development. Strong political leadership is required to improve collaboration between scientists, drug developers, care providers, and affected individuals.
Symposium participants agreed on the need for a massive increase in funding by governments for TB R&D, as current TB drug discovery initiatives are insufficient. Participants voiced support for an effort launched by governments at the World Health Assembly in May 2006 to examine alternative ways to prioritize and finance health-needs-driven R&D.
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