Eisai forms partnership to find new tuberculosis treatment

pharmafile | April 13, 2018 | News story | Medical Communications, Research and Development Colorado State University, Eisai, broad institute, pharma, tuberculosis, university of chicago 

Eisai has teamed up with the Broad Institute, the Mycobacteria Research Laboratories at Colorado State University and the University of Chicago, entering into a new research partnership to develop a new treatment for tuberculosis (TB).

The new project comes as part of Eisai’s “human health care philosophy”, where the company says it is “proactively forming” partnerships with governments, international organisations and non-profits to accelerate development of more effective therapies for TB, malaria and neglected tropical diseases.

The alliance will take compounds identified by the Broad Institute’s Diversity-Oriented Synthesis chemical library and alter them in the pursuit of molecules which present improved activity in the treatment of TB, researched through a mechanism of action involving the inhibition of tryptophan synthase – an enzyme found in mycobacterium sp.

The research programme will be funded by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, an international non-profit organisation based in Japan, while the tuberculosis-focused charity TB Alliance will act as an advisor to the project.

Despite successful vaccination programmes in first-world nations, TB remains one of the top 10 biggest killers worldwide, causing 1.7 million deaths in 2016 alone. This is thought to be down to long courses of treatment lasting up to nine months resulting in poor treatment adherence, while resistance to existing treatments has continued to emerge.  

Matt Fellows

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