On the development of a potential new treatment for tuberculosis
Eisai Co., Ltd has entered into a joint research agreement with the Broad Institute, Mycobacteria Research Laboratories at Colorado State University, and the University of Chicago to develop a potential new treatment for tuberculosis (TB).
In this joint research programme, compounds identified from Broad's Diversity Oriented Synthesis chemical library will be modified to design molecules that demonstrate improved activity as TB treatments.
Anti-TB activity will be researched through a new mechanism of action involving the inhibition of tryptophan synthase, an essential enzyme present in Mycobacterium sp.
TB is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide, with 10.4 million new cases of TB infections resulting in 1.7 million deaths in 2016 alone.
Existing anti-TB medicines were introduced several decades ago, but require long courses of treatments (6–9 months), resulting in poor compliance with treatment.
In addition, resistance to existing TB treatments has emerged in various parts of the world. Therefore, there is an urgent need for novel anti-TB agents with shortened treatments period and new mechanisms of action.
The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), an international non-profit organisation headquartered in Japan, is funding this new joint research programme. TB Alliance is serving as an adviser to the programme.
Under its human health care (hhc) philosophy, Eisai is proactively forming partnerships with governments, international organisations and other non-profit private sector organisations, aiming to expedite the development of new treatment methods for TB, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, and thereby contribute to these patients and their families.