Our Mission

The mission of the Working Group on New TB Drugs is to accelerate the discovery and development of new drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis by bringing together the stakeholders in TB Drug Development, including the patients themselves.

Our Work


About the Working Group

One of the Stop TB Partnership's seven Working Groups, the Working Group on New Drugs (WGND) is a network of experts committed to accelerating the development of effective and affordable new therapies for TB. The WGND acts as a forum to facilitate global collaborations and joint projects for the development of new TB drugs and promotes coordination of all stakeholders in this process.

WGND members individually and collectively support the field of TB drug research by conducting support activities and initiatives, and providing input into core publications and public policy recommendations developed by the Stop TB Partnership. Membership in the WGND is open and inclusive and members meet each year to review activities, develop strategy and measure progress against goals outlined in the Global Plan to Stop TB. The Subgroups of the WGND focus on key challenge areas for TB drug development..

The Global Plan to End TB 2016 - 2020

The Global Plan presents an ambitious but critical set of priority investments for TB R&D. This ambition is essential in order to fully realize the goals of the End TB Strategy. We cannot afford business as usual. Without new drugs, diagnostics and an effective vaccine, we will not achieve the steep reductions in incidence and mortality that we need, and millions more people will die from the disease.

Failing to invest in research and development for new tools immediately will result in huge financial costs in the future because of the large number of people that still require treatment. Delaying investment by just one year – 2017, rather than 2016 – will cause future treatment costs to increase by US$ 1.3 billion. A five-year delay will result in extra costs of US$ 5.3 billion. When lost productivity is factored in, this figure increases to US$ 185 billion

The Global TB Drug Pipeline

A robust and sustainable pipeline of TB drug candidates and discovery programs is essential for the successful development of new TB drug regimens. With the aim of increasing efficiency and coordination of the global TB drug R&D enterprise through information exchange, the WGND conducts an annual survey of the global TB drugs pipeline. The WGND has now launched a dynamic web based survey with the aim of gathering comprehensive information and "real-time" updates in the field of TB drug R&D. We hope to receive maximum participation from the TB drug development community so that this information can serve as a central database and a reference tool for global TB drug discovery, advocacy and resource mobilization.

An Urgent Need



Treatments are too long: 6-24 Months

Cost of 1-Year Delay in Investment: $1.3 Billion USD

Faster-acting and simplified TB drug regimens are required more urgently than ever in the fight against TB. Today’s drug regimens, which take between 6 and 24 months to complete, are lengthy and complicated to administer, and can be highly toxic. Drugs to treat drug-resistant TB are expensive and extremely toxic. In addition, drugs to treat drug-sensitive TB are not compatible with certain common antiretroviral therapies used to treat HIV. Furthermore, all TB therapies must be available in appropriate dosage formulations for children of all ages.

The introduction of a new regimen of shorter duration (two to three months) and containing three or four new drugs with no pre-existing resistance would be a game-changer in the fight against both drug-susceptible and drug-resistant TB. Such a regimen could improve treatment adherence, stop the spread of drug-resistant TB, present significant cost savings (both direct and indirect) for national TB programmes and health care systems, and enable the global scale-up of MDR-TB treatment. A shorter and simpler universal treatment will not only help to cure those currently under care, but will also allow health workers to reach more people by significantly reducing the burden on national TB programmes. A more effective treatment for latent TB is a long-term challenge, but one where success would also have a significant impact on the TB epidemic.

“Only in providing the funding needed can we hope to transform the promise in the pipeline to millions of lives saved.”

–Melvin Spigelman, Co-chair, WGND

A Network of Experts


One of the Stop TB Partnership's seven Working Groups, the Working Group on New Drugs (WGND) is a network of experts committed to accelerating the development of effective and affordable new therapies for TB. The WGND acts as a forum to facilitate global collaborations and joint projects for the development of new TB drugs and promotes coordination of all stakeholders in this process.

WGND members individually and collectively support the field of TB drug research by conducting support activities and initiatives, and providing input into core publications and public policy recommendations developed by the Stop TB Partnership. Membership in the WGND is open and inclusive and members meet each year to review activities, develop strategy and measure progress against goals outlined in the Global Plan to Stop TB. The Subgroups of the WGND focus on key challenge areas for TB drug development.

History


The Stop TB Partnership, established in 2000 is a global community of hundreds of organizations working together to eliminate TB as a global public health problem. Several Working Groups advance the mission of the Stop TB Partnership. In 2001, the Working Group on New Drugs (WGND) established as its goal the development of new and affordable drugs for the treatment of TB. The WGND conducts support activities and acts as a forum to facilitate global collaborations for the development of new TB drugs. Some of these activities have included:

  • orchestrating consultations
  • designing and conducting surveys
  • commissioning studies and reviews
  • developing publications
  • consulting on policy recommendations
  • organizing annual meetings, symposia and other events
  • collaborating with other Partnership Working Groups, Task Forces and the Secretariat
  • representing the WGND on the Partnership Coordinating Board