Biotechs join forces in TB-fighting consortium

AstraZeneca became the newest member of a €16 million multi-member partnership to find new therapies for tuberculosis. The current remedies for the disease have been in use for over 50 years, and require several months or years of treatment. But with the expertise and help of companies like AZ and Sanofi-Aventis, as well as the University of Cambridge and other institutions in Pavia, Italy and Uppsala, Sweden, the group hopes to shave months off of treatment time.

Researchers will work in London and Norwich, UK, Russia, India and South Africa to find 10 to 20 TB treatment candidates that will be narrowed down to two to three final drugs for TB patients. "We're confident we can replicate that and come up with two candidates [drugs]," said Stewart Cole, a TB expert and the leader of the consortium from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.

UK paper The Guardian also notes that a much larger 2002 TB partnership, the Global Fund, is launching an exchange-traded fund that will charge investors a 2.5 percent annual fee, with most of the proceeds going towards the Global Fund and its research.

- read the article in PharmaLive