Novartis inked an agreement with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) for compounds designed to tackle tuberculosis (TB) that have been discovered at the Novartis Institutes for Tropical Diseases (NITD). NITD will transfer its TB R&D program to TB Alliance, which will take financial and operational responsibility for continued research, development, approval, and distribution of compounds in the portfolio.

Among the compounds TB Alliance is picking up are indolcarboxamides, a class of drugs that are active against drug-sensitive and multiresistant strains of the infectious lung disease. One of these preclinical compounds, NITD304, can reportedly block MmpL3, a protein essential for the TB bacterium's survival.

“Our long-standing partnership with Novartis gives us confidence in the scientific underpinnings of the TB portfolio,” Mel Spigelman, M.D., TB Alliance's president and CEO, said in a statement. “We look forward to advancing the most promising compounds into the clinic to meet the urgent need for new TB treatments.”

Novartis and TB Alliance have been working together for some time, including a partnership made in 2004 between TB Alliance and NITD aimed at identifying lead compounds in the nitroimidazopyran class for the treatment of TB.

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