Novartis Licenses Experimental Tuberculosis Drugs to TB Alliance in Exclusive Deal
Novartis has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development for compounds to fight tuberculosis (TB) that have been discovered at the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD).
According to a news release issued this morning, Aug. 20, NITD will fully transfer its TB research and development program to TB Alliance, which will take financial and operational responsibility for continued research, development, approval and distribution of compounds in the portfolio. Included in the transfer is a class of drugs called indolcarboxamides that are active against drug sensitive and multi-resistant strains of TB.
“TB is one of the scourges of the developing world and new medicines are desperately needed to combat its continued spread,” said Mark C. Fisherman, President of Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. “TB Alliance is well placed to take our discoveries and compounds through development for the benefit of patients with TB.”
There are more than 8.6 million cases of tuberculosis each year, with more than 1.3 million deaths reported annually, according to the World Health Organization.
Novartis has collaborated with major players, including TB Alliance, in the past and believes TB Alliance has the best combination of expertise, capacity and strategic interest to develop new agents and regimens for TB.
“Our long-standing partnership with Novartis gives us confidence in the scientific underpinnings of the TB portfolio,” said Mel Spigelman, MD, President and CEO of TB Alliance. “We look forward to advancing the most promising compounds into the clinic to meet the urgent need for new TB treatments.”