Evotec in ‘Pan-TB’ collaboration
Drug discovery firm Evotec, owner of the API manufacturer Aptuit, is a member of the Project to Accelerate New Treatments for Tuberculosis (PAN-TB) collaboration, which was launched formally on 27 February. This will aim to transform global action on TB, which causes more deaths than any other infectious disease, with 10 million new cases and 1.5 million deaths recorded in 2018.
Also involved in PAN-TB are Big Pharma giants GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, with others possibly to follow. The collaboration is backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The stated aim is to “accelerate the development of novel ‘pan-TB’ drug regimens for the treatment of tuberculosis that are ready for Phase III development”, using members’ collective assets, resources and scientific expertise. These will be designed to have minimal resistance and an acceptable safety profile, and be better-tolerated, shorter and simpler to use than existing options, the partners said.
PAN-TB will work with the European Regimen Accelerator for Tuberculosis (ERA4TB), which was launched in January, potentially incorporating NMEs identified and developed by ERA4TB in its later-stage, clinical research. Evotec, GSK and Johnson & Johnson are also members of ERA4TB.