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Project Record

Global Alliance for TB Drug Development: TB Alliance 2009-2013

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 01-01-2009
 31-05-2013
 TB Alliance
 Research and Evidence Division (Human Development Team)


 Dr Mel Spigelman (CEO), Asmita Barve

  Global
  Global


To accelerate the development of new anti-tuberculosis drug regimens that shorten and/or simplify treatment, are effective against multi-drug resistant TB, can be administered together with anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) and address both active and latent forms of the disease. The resulting medicines must be accessible, affordable to all in need, and promptly adopted for field use.


Purpose of engagement:

The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TBA) was founded as a not-for profit organisation in response to a global declaration to address a 40-year gap in drug development for TB (the Cape Town Declaration) in 2000. As a product development public private partnership (PDP), the TBA is a virtual drug development enterprise, bringing together expertise from academia, government, and the private sector.

Sixty years after the discovery of the first effective antibiotic against TB, the disease remains a major infectious cause of death worldwide, second only to HIV and AIDS. In 2006, TB claimed 1.7 million lives and over 9.0 million new cases were recorded. Existing therapy has serious shortcomings that limit its ability to adequately address the disease. TB control programs do not reach everyone who needs them, especially in countries with weak health systems. A significantly shorter drug treatment regimen for TB would have a directly attributable benefit to reducing poverty on a global scale. Improved therapies would save millions of lives by increasing compliance, speeding time to cure and overcoming resistance. A shorter and simpler treatment would therefore not only help those currently under treatment, but also allow healthcare workers to reach more patients and reduce the burdens to the health care infrastructure.

TBA's research efforts play a significant role towards progress for Millennium Development Goal 6, to combat HIV and AIDS malaria and other diseases, with a particular emphasis on TB and the coinfection of TB and HIV. The ultimate beneficiaries of improved, simplified and shortened TB treatments are TB-affected populations across the globe, but in particular those in low-income countries. About 90% of TB and TB-related deaths occur in low-income countries.

The TBA's goal is to enhance TB treatment and thereby improve the health of poor populations suffering from TB. The TBA's purpose is to accelerate the development of new anti-tuberculosis drug regimens that shorten and/or simplify treatment, are effective against multi-drug resistant TB, can be administered together with anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) and address both active and latent forms of the disease. The resulting medicines must be accessible, affordable to all in need, and promptly adopted for field use.

DFID engagement Strategy/DFID line:

Support for the TBA support fits within the DFID Research Strategy 2008-13 and the AIDS strategy. Because of the interaction between TB and HIV, TB has become the leading cause of death among people with HIV, while infection with HIV is an important risk factor for a latent TB infection to convert to active TB. Further investment in research and development of new drugs to help combat tuberculosis was strongly articulated in a DFID TB and malaria consultation (Set out in the DFID Practice paper; The Challenge of TB and Malaria Control, December 2005.).

DFID's support for TB control aims to eliminate TB as a global health problem, and to meet MDG 6 (target 8) "to have halted and begun to reverse the incidence of TB by 2015".


  • Portfolio of 25-30 projects with 20-25 in discovery and preclinical development
  • One drug for TB treatment registered
  • 3 products in late stage clinical trials
  • 2-3 drug combinations with potential to shorten therapy to less than 3 months identified
  • Clinical development of optimised combinations initiated
  • A well advanced candidate pathway for other new regimens
  • A complete and clear pathway for adoption and implementation of a moxifloxacin-containing regimen
  • High quality "biobank" of plasma, urine and sputum samples from up to 2000 moxifloxacin trial patients established and in use for identification and validation of biomarkers of drug efficacy
  • Database with assessments of over 100 clinical trial sites and associated labs worldwide


  • The largest single portfolio of potential TB compounds ever assembled.
  • A robust worldwide network of partners from industry, academia, and other research organizations.
  • It is the only organization that is constructively engaging other TB drug sponsors to plan for future combinations of novel TB drugs that will create significant improvement in TB drug therapy.
  • Maintains close communications with virtually all organizations and individuals with significant activity in TB drug R&D, even in the absence of formal collaborations.
  • Two drugs in late stage clinical development.
  • Moxifloxacin, in Phase III development, is one of the most advanced clinical development programs for the treatment of active TB in over forty years.
  • Identifying clinical trial capacity gaps, developing registration-standard trial and laboratory capacity in many high-burden countries, and defining and addressing regulatory issues specific to TB drug development with relevant authorities.
  • Is making the regimen rather than single drugs the unit of development. Testing of the first set of experimental combinations is already underway.
  • Two preclinical studies aimed at identifying candidate biomarkers of treatment efficacy.
  • Laying the groundwork to facilitate adoption and availability of TB drugs once they are developed.

See the TB Alliance website for more information on donors.

See the other phases of funding: 2006-9 and 2013-18.


£23,300,000
  114383