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March 08, 2016.
German drugmaker Bayer has formed a collaboration with the Universities of Dundee (UK) and Cape Town (South Africa) to develop critically needed new treatments for tuberculosis (TB).
The three partners are already members of the Tuberculosis Drug Accelerator (TBDA), a program launched in 2012 and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and which aims to identify novel therapies to reduce significantly the treatment time for TB. The tripartite collaboration between Bayer, the University of Dundee, and the University of Cape Town (UCT) will optimize hits from the Bayer compound library that were identified within the TBDA program, with the goal of developing them into potential preclinical drug candidates.
Each year, 1.5 million people globally die from TB (a death every 21 seconds), with over 9 million falling ill from the disease, mainly in developing countries. Although effective, current first-line therapies for TB are considered inadequate owing to the fact that they take up to six months to cure patients.