Lilly is among seven pharmaceutical companies and four research institutions - in conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - that have launched a groundbreaking partnership to speed the discovery of essential new treatments for tuberculosis (TB).
The partnership, known as the TB Drug Accelerator (TBDA), will target the discovery of new TB drugs by collaborating on early-stage research. The long-term goal of the TBDA is to create a TB drug regimen that cures patients in only one month. Existing drugs, all at least 50 years old, require six months to cure the disease - a lengthy process that contributes to 20-30% of patients dropping out before completion.
Tuberculosis is the second leading infectious cause of death worldwide, having killed nearly 1.4 million people in 2010 alone. While largely eradicated in the U.S., TB disproportionately affects poor people in low- and middle-income countries.
By working together on this global health issue, we can speed the development of new solutions for one of the most pressing needs in global health.
Lilly's contribution to the project is a combination of funding, drug discovery and development expertise, and access to Lilly's molecule libraries.
We believe we have a role to play in advancing global health, not only through the medicines we make, but also through applying our knowledge, expertise, and capabilities in targeted areas where we believe we can make the most difference.
Lilly has been a leading player in fighting multi-drug resistant tuberculosis through The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership. We began that partnership in 2003 and have committed more than $170 million to helping people in underserved communities fight MDR-TB and supporting research of new TB therapies. For more details, you can read the TBDA press release here or view our website for The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership.