World TB Day 2022: Invest to End TB. Save Lives

24 Mar 2022

Each year on 24 March, World TB Day is commemorated to raise awareness of this devastating and deadly disease.

The theme for this year’s World TB Day is “Invest to End TB. Save Lives”, conveying the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitments to end TB made by global leaders.

Despite significant progress in recent years, TB continues to be among the leading causes of death worldwide, claiming the lives of 1.5 million people per year. The COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of global progress in tackling TB, and multidrug-resistant TB – the largest concern in the control of antimicrobial resistance globally – could put at risk the gains made over the last few decades.

TB is preventable and curable, with the right treatments and sufficient resources, it is possible to stop its spread. However, to reach the ambitious targets of 95% death reduction and 90% incidence decline set by the World Health Organization in its global strategy to end TB, more investment in TB-related activities is urgently needed.

OUR CONTRIBUTION

As a partner of UNITE4TB, we are proud to be playing our part in the fight to end TB. The Consortium is working to deliver novel phase 2 clinical trials that will accelerate the development of new anti-TB drugs and regimens. Achieving this goal will facilitate fulfilment of one of the main unmet needs in the TB field: well-tolerated drug regimens of shorter duration that can be deployed to tackle TB across various drug-resistant patterns and comorbidities.

University College London is a major partner in UNITE4TB; the MRC Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) at UCL and the Centre for Clinical Microbiology (CCM) continue their collaboration to provide statistical and microbiological expertise. At the MRC CTU at UCL, we pioneered large multi-arm multi-stage (MAMS) platform trials and we are using this experience to lead the clinical trial design and analysis for UNITE4TB. The CCM is providing expertise in all aspects of the delivery of TB clinical trials, as a specialist laboratory and in supervision of onsite laboratories as part of the microbiology work-package.

JOINT EFFORT

What can you do to help? Raise awareness of TB, stimulate government representatives to act, encourage friends and families to get tested. Together we can accelerate efforts to end the global TB epidemic.

About UNITE4TB

UNITE4TB is a public-private partnership with representation from academic institutions, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), public organizations, and pharmaceutical companies. The 7-year, €185 million project aims to accelerate and improve the clinical evaluation of combinations of existing and novel drugs, with the goal of developing new and highly active Tuberculosis (TB) treatment regimens for drug-resistant and -sensitive TB. For more information, visit the consortium website: unite4TB.org

The UNITE4TB project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 101007873. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA, Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung e. V. (DZIF), and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU). EFPIA/AP contribute to 50% of funding, whereas the contribution of DZIF and the LMU University Hospital Munich has been granted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. For further information: imi.europa.eu

This communication reflects the author’s view. Neither IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.