Novartis has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) for compounds to fight tuberculosis (TB) that have been discovered at the Novartis Institutes for Tropical Diseases (NITD).
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) there are more than 8.6 million cases of tuberculosis each year, with more than 1.3 million deaths reported annually. TB is a global disease, but has its deadliest impact in developing countries. Current therapies for TB require 6-30 month dosing regimes and there are increasingly drug resistant strains of TB emerging.
Mark C. Fishman, President of Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, said: “TB is one of the scourges of the developing world and new medicines are desperately needed to combat its continued spread. TB Alliance is well placed to take our discoveries and compounds through development for the benefit of patients with TB.”
Mel Spigelman, MD, President and CEO of TB Alliance, said: “Our long-standing partnership with Novartis gives us confidence in the scientific underpinnings of the TB portfolio. We look forward to advancing the most promising compounds into the clinic to meet the urgent need for new TB treatments.”
Under the agreement, NITD will fully transfer its TB research and development program to TB Alliance, which will take financial and operational responsibility for continued research, development, approval and distribution of compounds in the portfolio.
Novartis and TB Alliance have partnered in the past, and the pharma firm believes it has the best combination of expertise, capacity, and strategic interest to develop new agents and regimens for TB.