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Janssen in new collaboration to take on TB

Published on 03/12/15 at 09:17am
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.

The collaboration will focus on providing increased access to molecular diagnostics tools for TB case detection and MDR-TB diagnosis, and on ensuring accelerated access to effective treatments for both conditions.

Janssen and FIND will collaborate on a variety of projects with other partners, including developers and national TB control programs, in an attempt to close the gap in diagnosis and treatment on the more than 3 million people with undiagnosed TB globally and the more than 30% of people with diagnosed TB who are not appropriately treated.

This need to address early diagnosis was recently highlighted as one of the core components of the post-2015 End TB Strategy. It has been determined that current diagnostic solutions, particularly in terms of point-of-care diagnosis, are inadequate, and have been a crucial barrier to efforts to contain the spread of TB infection, especially the more complex drug-resistant strains, with around one in four cases of MDR-TB being detected, and only 50 percent successfully treated.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes Anti-TB drug resistance as a major public health problem threatening control of TB worldwide, and one that has arisen as a result of antibiotics in chemotherapy of drug-susceptible TB patients.

Wim Parys, head of R&D, Janssen Global Public Health, says: “MDR-TB is threatening the global effort to eliminate TB. The high rates of missed or delayed diagnosis are preventing prompt, effective treatment and allowing MDR-TB’s continued spread. Our aim through this collaboration is to transform the current model of ensuring effective TB treatment and provide faster access to a continuum of care, from prevention to cure,” he added.

Claudia Denkinger, head of TB & Hepatitis C Programs at FIND, adds: “FIND and Janssen have highly complementary expertise in diagnostics and treatment. Together we can leverage this collective capacity to ensure that people with TB have access to rapid and accurate diagnosis and are quickly linked to effective treatment and care, whether they have drug-susceptible or drug-resistant TB.”

Janssen has previously entered several partnerships to address the global threat of TB, including recent collaborations with the Union, TB Alliance and USAID to ensure access to and appropriate use of current and new treatment options.

Joel Levy

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