FDA gives grants to fight tuberculosis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on October 4 announced that it has awarded nearly $3 million to fund research that will support the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tuberculosis.

The funding, which amounts to $2.9 million, will go directly towards six different projects that were selected from 30 applicants, and was directed by the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative.

TB remains a major public health threat and continues to rise in prevalence globally. The FDA said that help is needed to shorten therapy and to treat drug resistant forms of the disease.

"FDA recognized an urgent need for the engagement and leadership of public health institutions to promote this critical, but neglected, area of medical therapeutics," FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., said.

The six projects and their research teams that FDA will grant funding to include Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation's discovery of biological and immunological biomarkers for TB vaccines and the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development frozen trials for developing a repository of clinical trial specimens.

Also receiving funding will be Global Alliance of TB Drug Development for qualifying new preclinical models for the development of tuberculosis drug combinations, and the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., for the development of a diagnostic for latent TB.

Colorado State University will receive funding for small molecule biomarkers for tuberculosis treatment, relapse and cure, while a grant for the University of Utah will be used for the development and validation of point-of-care tests for tuberculosis.