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Janssen in new collaboration to take on TB

Image credit: FIND

Janssen has announced a new collaboration with the non-profit organisation FIND to step-up the fight against the public health threat of tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).

The partnership draws on FIND’s innovative work in increasing access to affordable diagnostic solutions; the capabilities of Janssen Diagnostics; and Janssen’s experience in pharmaceuticals development and innovative access models.

Medicines Patent Pool to include hep C and TB drugs

UNITAID

The Medicines Patent Pool has expanded to include a mandate to make treatments for hepatitis C and tuberculosis affordable and accessible to low-and middle-income countries.  

The global health initiative, run by the UNITAID in 2010, has been providing access to generic and low-cost HIV treatments, through a public-health driven business model in partnership with six patent holders and 14 manufacturers. It has distributed almost 3 billion tablets of low-cost medicines.

MSF hits out at 'astronomical' vaccine prices

Pfizer image
Pfizer says it has already struck a deal to provide Prevenar 13 at a reduced price

Pharma companies have been named and shamed in a report calling on manufacturers to lower the cost of childhood vaccines and make them more accessible in developing countries.

The international medical aid charity Médicines San Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) found “a handful of big pharma companies” – including GSK and Pfizer – are charging developing countries ‘astronomical prices’ for the pneumococcal vaccines from which they have registered huge profits.

Europe: TB treatment ‘far below’ target

ECDC image
ECDC HQ in Sweden

European countries are still not getting to grips with the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, according to a new report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Published in conjunction with the World Health Organisation, the data suggests that only one in three patients with multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB finishes their treatment successfully. More than half either die, their treatment fails or they stop taking their medicine altogether.

Janssen submits tuberculosis pill to FDA

FDA image

Janssen has submitted its investigational tuberculosis pill bedaquiline for review by the FDA.

The firm is seeking a licence for bedaquiline to be used as part of a combination therapy for pulmonary, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.

If approved by the FDA, bedaquiline would be the first drug with a new mechanism of action for TB in more than 40 years, and would also be the first and only drug specifically indicated for the disease.

Gates Foundation funds TB drug discovery

Research to identify leads and drug targets for new tuberculosis treatments is to be funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) in Seattle has been awarded a multi-million dollar grant from the charitable Foundation to undertake "chemical genomics” research in TB.

The grant is part of the Foundation's TB Drug Accelerator programme, which aims to accelerate efforts against TB, which is one of the world’s biggest killers.

AZ signs tuberculosis drug discovery deal

Research Bangalore
The project will mainly involve scientists from AstraZeneca's research site in Bangalore, India

AstraZeneca and the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development are to collaborate on the discovery and development of drugs to treat tuberculosis.

The two parties will create a joint portfolio of promising projects, sharing R&D resources and focusing on novel compound classes. Scientists working on these will mainly be drawn from AstraZeneca's TB research centre in Bangalore, India. 

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