European scientists develop new imaging technology to fight TB

A team of European researchers is supporting new tuberculosis treatments through the development of better diagnostic imaging technology.

The study has received nearly $18.5 million from the PREDICT-TB project, which is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative under the European Union's Seventh Framework Program, according to

IMI is a public-private partnership operated by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. The PREDICT-TB team is working directly with the pharmaceutical industry, with U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline as one of the project's coordinators.

PREDICT-TB is developing a set of in vitro and in vivo trials that they say will give them information critical to finding more effective drug treatments. As part of its work, PREDICT-TB plans to optimize clinical studies of novel combination therapies.

"These data will, first, offer us an early evaluation of the efficiency of the combinations of drugs used to treat tuberculosis, and second, they will allow us to optimize the clinical studies with patients, Juan Jose Vaquero from the Carlos III University of Madrid, said, reports.

Vaquero said that the group is particularly interested in preclinical imaging technology and is working towards new methods for processing and analyzing images for the assessment and follow-up of illness in animal models.

"We are going to develop new in vivo molecular image devices and also work on the synthesis of very specific probes for the biomarkers of this illness that have been identified by other partners in the consortium," Vaquero said, according to