About 1.7 million people – 23 percent of the world’s population – are estimated to have latent tuberculosis infection and are consequently at risk of developing active tuberculosis disease during their lifetime. Fighting this disease is therefore one of the greatest challenges for human health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.6 million people died from tuberculosis in 2017 alone.
BioVersys announced in a press release that it has received a grant of €6.92 million to fund the development of its innovative compound for the treatment of tuberculosis. This grant has been awarded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry. The IMI provides support to universities, research facilities, patient organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). BioVersys has been collaborating with GSK, the Institut Pasteur de Lille and the University of Lille on this project.
The objective is to progress clinical candidates that potentiate the efficacy of the established tuberculosis drug ethionamide (ETH). The WHO considers ETH a crucial pillar of tuberculosis treatment, especially against multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant strains. Combining with TRIC-TB allows the use of lower efficacious doses of ETH and reduces dose-dependent adverse effects in patients. Furthermore, data shows that the new molecules overcome pre-existing resistance mechanisms against ETH and offer a broader spectrum of bioactivation.