History and Impact
Established in 2000 to address an urgent health need, TB Alliance relentlessly pursues its mission of discovering and developing improved TB treatments. Today, the organization and its partners manage the largest portfolio of new TB drug candidates ever assembled, and leads the global effort to transform TB therapy.
TB Alliance was conceived at a February 2000 meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, where 120 representatives from academia, industry, major agencies, non-governmental organizations, and donors gathered to discuss the need for new TB treatments. At the time, there were no TB drugs in clinical development and, therefore, little hope for better cures. Participants stressed the need for new TB drugs, highlighted the unprecedented scientific opportunities, and underscored the lack of market incentive for pharmaceutical companies to develop new TB treatments. The resulting "Declaration of Cape Town" [.pdf - 31kb] provided a road map for TB drug development, outlining the need for the creation of TB Alliance. Cape Town signatory institutions formed the original Stakeholders Association for the nascent organization, which still exists today.
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TB Alliance was formally launched in October 2000 at the International Conference on Health Research for Development, in Bangkok, Thailand. In her keynote address, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, then Director General of the World Health Organization, called the TB Alliance "a shining example of public and private sector partnerships to bridge the gap between market opportunities and people's needs."
Watch a video about the formation of the TB Alliance
Since its inception in 2000, TB Alliance has catalyzed the field of TB drug development in many significant ways. Here are some of the TB Alliance's most notable achievements:
- Assembled and manage the largest portfolio of potential new TB drugs in history, which includes more than 20 active development programs and 9 novel classes of drugs.
- Launched the first clinical trials to test multiple new TB drugs in combination, and new TB regimens in TB and MDR-TB patients simultaneously. Novel regimens show promise in curing both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant disease with the same treatment, which would simplify delivery and global scale-up of MDR-TB treatment.
- Reinvigorated global TB drug development by being a central resource for and lowering the barriers associated with the field — there are now 10 clinical TB drug candidates in the global portfolio, many managed by some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies.
- Worked in partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals to help develop Sirturo, the first new drug approved for the treatment of MDR-TB.
- Co-founded the Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens (CPTR) initiative, and leads the drug development arm of the program. This initiative is working to tackle a broad array of challenges, including reducing the timeline needed to develop novel TB regimens by as much a 75%.
- Established a robust Community Engagement program surrounding TB drug trials that create important links between the local clinical trial sites and the TB research community.
- Mapped the global capacity to conduct TB clinical trials, and helped to develop this global infrastructure, including many sites in endemic countries.
- Established, with DNDi, the first-ever royalty-free license agreement between two not-for-profits, enabling TB Alliance compounds to be tested and developed for therapy of multiple additional neglected diseases.