TB Vaccine Development: COVID-19 Pathways, mRNA Tech Hold Hope
Eyes On BioNTech-Gates Foundation Effort
With fast-tracked development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines yielding results, experts call for similar urgency and funding impetus to progress new vaccines for TB, which still claims 4,000 lives daily. Over 15 candidates have been in development for years, with hope now abounding around the potential of new platforms like mRNA to accelerate efforts.
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TB Alliance CEO Mel Spigelman discusses the huge disruptions in TB treatment in war-ravaged Ukraine, and need for funding, political will and resources along the lines of that galvanized for COVID-19, or "even a fraction" of that, to control the deadly infectious disease. He also touched on the accelerated availability of the BPaL regimen and a partnered program for an anti-TB natural product.
While Viatris says it has sufficient capacity to meet current and future demand for tuberculosis drug pretomanid, TB Alliance has signed a non-exclusive license with Lupin. This is the second tie-up with an Indian manufacturer but the local restricted use approval means countries other than India are likely to benefit for now.
TB Alliance CEO Mel Spigelman outlines to Scrip the contours of the non-profit’s commercialization deal with Mylan for pretomanid, which is part of an oral combination regimen, and maintains that the $1/day pricing ask for the drug is based on flawed assumptions and not currently feasible.