Collaboration initiated in 2004 has five ongoing programs.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development renewed their research program for three years. The collaboration, which began in 2004, currently includes a portfolio of early projects that may ultimately yield new drugs that attack Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) including drug-resistant strains, according to GSK.

Under the terms of the agreement, GSK and the TB Alliance jointly fund 15 to 25 fully dedicated scientists at GSK’s Tres Cantos facility in Spain. “We are encouraged by the success of our pioneering work with GSK, which has nearly doubled the number of TB drug discovery projects in our pipeline,” comments Mel Spigelman, M.D., TB Alliance director of R&D.

The program currently consists of five discovery-stage projects. The two most advanced explore two classes of novel antibiotics with antitubercular mechanisms of action. They reportedly have been shown in nonclinical studies to fight persistent forms of M.tb and thereby might offer better chances of shortening treatment duration, which currently takes about six months to complete.

Additional projects seek to identify and attack novel mycobacterium enzymes/targets. Inhibiting enzymes critical to the functioning of M.tb could disable the bacterium without harming the host and may also shorten the length of treatment, GSK explains.

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