E-DRUG: USAID Awards TB Alliance $8 Million Grant
New Donor Brings Support for Innovative Drug Development to More Than $50
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the lead US
government agency for foreign assistance, announced an $8 million grant to the
TB Alliance for research and development into new drugs to save lives and
combat the rapid spread of TB infection, drug resistance and TB/HIV
"We face an urgent challenge - the current arsenal of drugs and diagnostics is
no match for TB," said Dr. E. Anne Peterson, Assistant Administrator for
USAID's Bureau of Global Health. "New drugs to speed cures must be a part of
the coordinated global effort."
"This award signals the importance that USAID places on overcoming tuberculosis
and strengthens the coalition hard at work to deliver a faster and affordable
cure for TB, so we can conquer this devastating epidemic," said Dr. Maria C.
Freire, President and CEO, TB Alliance. "With investments and leadership like
this, we can ensure that everyone can participate in the benefits of such a
major health dividend."
The TB Alliance has established the first, most comprehensive portfolio of
potential TB drugs since the 1960s. USAID's pledge comes at a time when two of
the TB Alliance's lead compounds are approaching clinical trials and will
support the continuous efforts to invigorate the TB drug pipeline. The
portfolio includes, among others, a program to advance novel nitroimidazoles,
several projects in the fluoroquinolone class of compounds, and earlier
discovery projects based on new targets. The emerging pipeline is the result of
ongoing efforts to engage industry, academia and clinicians worldwide.
"The TB Alliance has been working aggressively to build and advance its
portfolio as well as support the field of TB drug development. This award is a
major asset to a global effort that is poised to make a revolutionary impact on
TB control," said Dr. Lee Reichman of the New Jersey Medical School National TB
Center and President, Stakeholders Association of TB Alliance.
USAID's TB program supports country-level programs in 34 countries, including
16 of the 22 high-burden countries and has committed $78 million to
international TB efforts in 2004, in addition to the U.S. Government's
contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
The USAID grant builds on a solid basis of other foundation and government
support since the TB Alliance's inception in 2000. Seed funding from the Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation has been
complemented by Dutch Ministry of Development and in-kind support from the US
National Institutes of Health as well as several pharmaceutical companies.
[To download the full press release click here or go to:
http://www.tballiance.org/7_3_D_PressReleases.asp (.pdf - 42kb)]