The World Health Organization (WHO) is launching target product profiles to drive the rapid development of novel tuberculosis (TB) preventive treatment. The target product profiles characterise the most important product attributes to be considered for developing the best suited TB prevention treatments in future.
One quarter of the global population is estimated to be infected with TB and are at greater risk of developing TB disease, especially those with weakened immunity. Treatment of TB infection, also known as TB preventive treatment , aims to prevent the development of TB disease, and is one of the critical components of WHO’s End TB Strategy. At the United Nations High-level Meeting on TB in 2018, countries committed to provide TB preventive treatment to at least 30 million people by 2022.
“Existing options for TB preventive treatment still present a number of operational limitations that prevent wide-scale implementation” said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director, WHO Global TB Programme. “To successfully expand TB preventive treatment to the millions in need, we urgently require new drug regimens that are more effective, cheaper, shorter, easier to administer and better tolerated, than those currently available.”
The optimization of future TB preventive treatment regimens requires consideration of the efficacy and safety of the regimen components, their potential for drug-drug interactions, their propensity to generate drug resistance, and their use in specific patient populations – such as people living with HIV, pregnant women and children.
“The target product profiles identify the key product attributes to be considered for the development of best and most suitable TB prevention treatments” said Dr Christian Lienhardt, Director of Research at the Institute for Research on Sustainable Development (IRD), in Montpellier, France and who coordinated the compilation of the target product profiles. “This document should assist in aligning treatment developers’ performance and operational targets with programmatic needs at country level”.
The launch of the target product profiles is being accompanied by a live Webinar 26 August from 15h00 to 17h00 CEST,during which they will be presented to the audience, followed by a live Q&A. Speakers include Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme, Saskia den Boon, Technical Officer at the WHO Global TB Programme, Christian Lienhardt from the Institute for Research on Sustainable Development (IRD) in Montpellier, France, Nim Arinaminpathy from Imperial College London, UK, Kevin Schwartzman from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and Alberto Matteelli from the University of Brescia, Italy.
* The webinar recording will be updated on this page soon.