Joint statement made at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis, 26 September 2018
Today’s meeting presents an unprecedented opportunity to secure a global commitment to end TB by 2030. However, the decline in tuberculosis incidence remains too slow to meet these targets. Without better tools, we will not end TB and the increasing threat of drug-resistant TB will not be overcome—we need shorter and less toxic treatment regimens; affordable point-of-care diagnostics; and ultimately, a new, more effective vaccine. It is only with these new tools that we will bend the curve and make an impact that can actually stop this epidemic.
Significant progress has been made in developing these urgently needed new tools.
- Promising results from several vaccine studies have been announced this year, the most recent is a phase 2b study that was published yesterday showing a vaccine that halved the rate of active TB in the participants who received the vaccine compared with those who received placebo.
- New regimens in late stage clinical development are showing great promise to enable treatment for all forms of drug-resistant TB including XDR-TB in just 6 months.
- Preliminary data on a new, highly sensitive LAM test show it can identify TB from urine in many people living with HIV. This has the potential to be the first of a new generation of LAM tests that will transform TB diagnosis for all.
These are real breakthroughs that have been facilitated by the innovation of product development and delivery partnerships, bringing together the public and private sectors to help solve critical public health problems like TB.
Now is the time to build on this momentum.
Developing new tools is a global and shared responsibility. We welcome the commitments in the declaration to support basic science and product development, to increase investments and close the research funding gap, and to improve affordability and accessibility of new tools for all who need them. Member states must act now to follow through on these commitments. We need to close the $1.3 billion annual gap in TB R&D funding and that must start today with commitments from member states and leadership to come together to foster global collaboration, not just coordination.
Science is not holding us back, political will and funding is. Success requires increased support for research, collaboration across sectors and member states, and significantly increased investments. Thank you for your commitment to the shared global vision of a world free of TB.
Jacqueline Shea, CEO, Aeras
Catharina Boehme, CEO, FIND
Mel Spigelman, President & CEO, TB Alliance
Nick Drager, Executive Director, TBVI
Stop TB Partnership Working Groups:
New Diagnostics Working Group: Co-Chairs – Catharina Boehme, FIND; Daniela Cirillo, San Raffaele Scientific Institute
Working Group on New TB Drugs: Co-Chairs – Mel Spigelman, TB Alliance; Barbara Laughon, NIH/NIAID
Working Group on New TB Vaccines: Chair – David Lewinsohn, Oregon Health and Science University
Co-Chairs – Ann Ginsberg, Aeras, and Frank Verreck, TBVI