Beyond Biotech podcast 39: World Tuberculosis Day

podcast 39

March 24 is World Tuberculosis Day. To mark the occasion, we have conversations with Christopher Fox, senior vice president, formulations, at the Access to Advanced Health Institute; TB Alliance CEO Mel Spigelman; and Jane Theaker, CEO of PBD Biotech.

This episode of the podcast is sponsored by Samplix.

World Tuberculosis Day

Tuberculosis is a leading infectious disease. 

According to the WHO, 10.6 million people became ill with the disease in 2021, and there were 1.6 million deaths from tuberculosis. The theme for World TB Day 2023 is ‘Yes! We can end TB!’ 

It aims to inspire hope and encourage high-level leadership, increased investments, faster uptake of new WHO recommendations, adoption of innovations, accelerated action, and multisectoral collaboration to combat TB. 

In other coverage of World Tuberculosis Day, we have an article from Gates Medical Research Institute on PAN-TB regimens to address growing TB drug resistance. We also looked at five positive developments in tackling TB over the past year.

TB Alliance

TB Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding faster-acting and affordable drug regimens to fight TB. 

Through innovative science and with partners around the globe, the organization aims to ensure equitable access to faster, better TB cures that will advance global health and prosperity. 

TB Alliance operates with support from various global governments as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, and the United States Agency for International Development. 

Access to Advanced Health Institute

A potential new vaccine for tuberculosis has been developed by the Access to Advanced Health Institute (AAHI) in Seattle, which is a nonprofit biotech research institute.

The results of a phase 1 clinical trial were published earlier this month in the journal Nature Communications.

PBD Biotech

PBD Biotech has developed a rapid screening blood test for identifying people with the disease as well as a subgroup with pre-clinical infection at higher risk of developing the disease.

The company said this has the potential to revolutionize the management of TB. 

Biotech’s Actiphage blood test is sensitive and specific, and clinical studies at the Leicester Respiratory NIHR Biomedical Centre have shown it is able to diagnose patients with pulmonary TB and identify contacts with recent exposure that have very early stage infection and may be at higher risk of developing TB in the future. 

By enabling rapid screening of a population for TB, Actiphage offers a breakthrough in disease prevention and treatment. Further trials of Actiphage are currently running in the U.K., South Africa and Zambia.

Explore other topics: Infectious diseaseVaccines

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