On World Tuberculosis Day, Evotec SE has announced that it has received a $ 6.6 million grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for drug discovery to tackle tuberculosis.
The grant is the second award from the foundation to Evotec supporting TB drug discovery, and allows the company to progress a portfolio of TB drug discovery projects that have the potential to contribute to a universal, shorter, safer and simpler TB drug regimen.
The current regimen for drug-sensitive TB, the most common and easiest-to-treat form of TB, requires that patients take multiple drugs for six or more months under clinical monitoring. Patients with drug-resistant TB face longer and more complex treatment regimens, often with significant side effects.
A shorter drug regimen that can treat TB irrespective of pre-existing drug resistance could provide a significant benefit to both patients and health systems.
Evotec to develop next-generation options
Werner Lanthaler, chief executive officer of Evotec, said: “We are honoured to have been awarded another grant by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The rise of drug-resistant TB and the complex and time-consuming way of treating patients highlight the urgent need for next-generation treatment options for all forms of TB.
“The grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation allows us to continue and expand our commitment to global health, to make a meaningful contribution to achieve targets set under the United Nation Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No 3 and to enable simpler, safer and faster treatment for patients worldwide.”
World Tuberculosis Day
March 24 marks the day that Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB in 1882, opening the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease. Each year, this date is commemorated as World TB Day to raise awareness that TB is still a major global cause of illness, disability and catastrophic household costs. It is the second leading cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide and responsible for an estimated 1.6 million deaths per year.