Launched in July 2021, UNITE4TB has made significant progress in its first 12 months of implementation as it aims to accelerate and improve the clinical evaluation of combinations of existing and novel drugs, with the goal of developing new highly active treatment regimens for drug-resistant and -sensitive tuberculosis (TB).
With 1.5 million people dying and 10 million affected each year worldwide, TB is a leading cause of death from an infectious agent. According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of global progress in tackling TB.
The 7-year, €185 million project, which the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the European Lung Foundation (ELF) are partners of, is a public-private partnership with representation from academic institutions, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), public organisations and pharmaceutical companies. The consortium plans to work across several continents, with the goal of delivering novel phase-2 clinical trials on a global scale.
After one year, trial sites have been shortlisted in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America while the clinical trial design is being finalised. The following external expert groups are also in place: Community Advisory Group, Ethics Advisory Board, and Regulatory Advisory Board.
In 2022, three free UNITE4TB webinars were organised by the Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto (ISPUP) and ERS focusing on the disease’s global burden, progress made to date in shortening TB treatment, as well as TB diagnostics. The UNITE4TB dedicated Young Investigators’ Group (YIG) has been involved in developing and facilitating the webinars.
The next UNITE4TB webinar is planned on 4 October, 2022 at 14:00–15:00 CEST. The speakers for the session are Daniela Cirillo (Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Italy) and Richard Menzies (Respiratory Epidemiology Unit, Montreal Chest Institute, Canada). They will present the pros and cons of rolling out new drugs and treatment regimens for TB without diagnostic capacity. The webinar – to be hosted on the ERS Respiratory Channel – will be moderated by Consortium partners Raquel Duarte (ISPUP & ERS Assembly 10 Secretary) and Cristoph Lange (Research Center Borstel).
- Find out more about the UNITE4TB project https://www.unite4tb.org/
- Find out more or register for the upcoming webinar https://www.ersnet.org/events/rolling-out-of-new-drugs-without-diagnostic-capacities/ and https://www.unite4tb.org/newsroom/unite4tb-webinar-rolling-out-new-drugs-without-diagnostic-capacity
- Access content from past webinars: https://www.ers-education.org/eu-projects/unite4tb/
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: www.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.