SPRINT-TB Annual Report 2016/2017
With just over 2 years since its foundation, SPRINT-TB has grown to become a major contributor to the international research effort to improve the treatment of TB.
Research highlights of 2016/2017 have been the promising new compounds identified in Theme 1 and the medicinal chemistry work in Theme 2 that has identified several derivatives of bortezomib – found to be active against a new target on the mycobacterium – that have greater selectivity in killing bacteria with reduced toxicity. In the clinical trials area (Theme 3), our platform for early phase clinical testing of new/repurposed TB drugs in humans - the whole blood bactericidal activity assay – was successfully applied to test a number of repurposed drugs and combinations, including immune-based therapies. We also achieved a major milestone in completing our innovative trial of anti-IL-4 monoclonal antibody as an adjunct to TB treatment, with analysis underway and results expected in mid-2017. Our flagship trial of a two-month TB treatment regimen – the TRUNCATE-TB trial –with sites in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines is now ready to start recruitment after nearly 3 years of preparation. In the treatment delivery part of the programme (Theme 4), we have now optimized our mobile phone app that permits remote supervised therapy and this is now moving into field trials in several countries in the region.
One of the other highlights of the last year was the on-site visit by our Scientific Advisory Board in November 2016. Several days of intense discussions and scrutiny of our research provided both confidence in the scientific value and potential for clinical impact of our existing research agenda, as well as yielded important new directions to strengthen our research portfolio in ways that are consistent with our scientific mission.
We hope you enjoy reading this report and we welcome any new opportunity to work together with you in the global effort to fight TB through research.