Geneva, 26 September 2018 – Today, at the first-ever United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis (TB), world health leaders agreed on a new, collaborative, focused, and forward-looking declaration that sets priorities for the global fight against TB. Recognizing the complexity of the disease and the barriers to progress, the declaration aims to improve access to treatment and care for the 10 million people who fall ill with TB every year.
The R&D-based biopharmaceutical industry welcomes the political declaration and reaffirms its commitment to the global fight against TB. To deliver on our common goal, industry stands ready to partner on the three pillars of the WHO End TB Strategy including integrated, patient-centred care and prevention; bold policies and supportive systems; and, in particular, intensified research and innovation.
In addition to having delivered the first two new TB drugs in over 40 years, industry is currently engaged in over 82 R&D projects for TB medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics, including 11 promising products in late stages of development and seven in phase III clinical trials. Companies are partnering with over 40 collaborators (universities, research institutes, product development partnerships (PDPs), etc.) to develop innovative medicines and vaccines for TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Continued innovation is particularly important given the growing levels of drug resistance.
“Ending TB as a global public health threat by 2030 requires focus, leadership, and above all a meaningful partnership that fosters innovation and access. The UN Declaration on TB is a milestone in the fight against TB. Its goals are geographically and epidemiologically focused, demonstrate political and community leadership, encourage action-oriented partnerships and commit to the robust use of data-based metrics – all of this in full engagement with TB affected communities. We welcome such political commitment,” says Thomas Cueni, IFPMA Director General.