J&J, TB Alliance partner on TB drug

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Tibotec, a Johnson & Johnson company, has partnered with the nonprofit Global Alliance for TB Drug Development covering Tibotec's drug TMC207. According to the World Health Organization, two billion people are infected with tuberculosis and 1.8 million die each year. If approved, TMC207 would be the first treatment with a new mechanism of action in 40 years.

Tibotec will continue to develop TMC207, which is currently in Phase II trials. Upon approval, the company will establish an access program to ensure the new drug reaches infected people in developing countries. The TB Alliance will have a royalty-free license for the worldwide development and access to TMC207 for drug-susceptible TB. Additionally, Tibotec and the TB Alliance will combine their resources to collaborate on a discovery research program to identify new TB compounds. The rights for the newly discovered compounds for the treatment of tuberculosis will belong to the TB Alliance under a royalty free license. The two groups will share development costs for TMC207. Further financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

"We see tremendous potential in this collaboration and in the future of TMC207 as part of a critically-needed new TB regimen," TB Alliance President and CEO Mel Spigelman said in a release. "Since the TB Alliance was founded, we have assembled the largest pipeline of new TB drugs in history, but this progress is only possible with the commitment of our partners. Tibotec has tremendous scientific prowess, a commitment to fighting infectious diseases, and is an essential long-term partner in our fight to end one of the greatest epidemics of our time."

- here's the release
- read the Reuters report

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