World TB Day Edition of What We’re Reading

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NewWWRTreatment Action Group releases policy brief on US investments in tuberculosis research and development: A policy brief released by TAG today argues  that decreasing US investment in TB research adds to the public health threat posed by TB to the United States and has already stalled the development of better and faster-acting treatment.  Thanks to stagnant budgets and budget cuts that have failed to keep pace with medical inflation, U.S. spending on tuberculosis research and development is where it was in 2009—at under $220 million while those dollars buy less research now.  While the U.S. remains the largest funder of tuberculosis research in the world, its stagnant research budget coupled with withdrawals of key pharmaceutical companies from the tuberculosis drug market leave a huge shortfall — $1.39 billion—in the STOP TB Partnership’s projection of $2 billion in R&D spending annually to move toward the elimination of the world’s second leading infectious disease killer.  You can read the policy brief here:   U.S. Government Investments in Tuberculosis Research and Development

TB Alliance highlights new initiatives on childhood TBToday, the TB Alliance announces the launch of a study to determine the correct treatment for babies with tuberculosis. In collaboration with the Desmond Tutu TB Center in South Africa, the study will monitor 30 infants receiving TB treatment to determine whether new guidelines and/or new products are needed to effectively treat TB in this population. The TB Alliance is also moving to enhance knowledge and raise the profile of this top ten cause of death in children by launching a best portal for childhood tuberculosis and establishing an advisory group to advise the alliance on a range of issues that affect the treatment of children with TB including co-infection with HIV, health policy, child-friendly treatment and barriers to access. The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development  (TB Alliance) is a non-profit dedicated to finding shorter and affordable drug regimens to treat tuberculosis.

The Lancet and the Financial Times headline tuberculosis: The Lancet journal releases a new collection of articles and reviews on tuberculosis today with a range of topics including articles on tuberculosis drugs, diagnostics and vaccines, drug-resistant tuberculosis and advocacy in tuberculosis.  Open access to all, the collection can be found here.

The Financial Times publishes a special report on tuberculosis today with articles on the promise and the barriers associated with the drug linezolid, the potential in molecular and genomic research for tuberculosis, drug-resistance, and a commentary by South African health minister Aaron Motsoaledi, among others.

AERAS launches TB crisis trackerAERAS, a non-profit biotech firm working on TB vaccines,  has launched a web-based TB tool that zeros in on tuberculosis outbreaks in a range of institutions across the United States  from schools to nursing homes to correctional facilities.

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