ERA4TB 4th Consortium Meeting: The Time to Make a Difference
Consortium members gathered virtually for two days of presentations, demos, and discussion on the 27th and 28th of January 2022. There were a variety of sessions covering topics including how anti-TB potential compounds investigations are progressing in the preclinical and clinical phases, new experimental protocols, and capacity creation.
Two key updates were announced at the meeting:
- Centre d’Investigació del Medicament (CIM) – Sant Pau becomes a new partner in the consortium to participate in Phase I, First Time in Human (FTIH) activities. Read more about CIM – Sant Pau here.
- The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is set up with three renowned external experts to advise the project on scientific and technical development:
- Gilla Kaplan, former Director of the Global Health Program Tuberculosis at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Marco Cavaleri, Head of Biological Health Threats and Vaccines Strategy at The European Medicines Agency.
- Herman Goossens, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Antwerp and Director of the Department of Clinical Pathology of the University Hospital, Antwerp.
Gilla Kaplan, representative of the SAB at the Consortium Meeting, congratulated the group on the great strides made despite the troubles of the Covid-19 pandemic:
"There has been an enormous amount of progress seen in models, assays, and protocols.”
"This consortium is filling the gaps, catching up and establishing all the tools that are going to make it possible to come up with good regimens”
We thank you all for the strong contributions made and we are looking forward to meeting face-to-face soon!
Spotlight on our in vitro research activities
The work package dedicated to in vitro research (WP2) comprises experts from academic institutions and EFPIA/Associated Partners working in close collaboration with Data and Pipeline Management and Modelling teams.
This work package is focused on four main activities:
- In vitro profiling EFPIA/AP molecules entering the ERA4TB pipeline.
- Implementation of the ERA4TB combination strategy to generate an informed progression pathway to propose optimal novel regimens for future clinical trials, liaising with UNITE4TB.
- Establishing novel screening platforms to identify and progress the next generation of host-pathogen interaction targeting compounds.
- Setting up the Hollow Fiber model to support the selection and development of new antitubercular regimens.
In vitro research (WP2) Face to Face Meeting
Between 15th – 17th December 2021, the first in-person WP2 meeting was held in Zaragoza. The status of the ongoing in vitro activities for the molecules currently in the pipeline was shared and discussed by the different Asset Management Teams (AMTs) involved.
After almost two years of virtual meetings, this was a great opportunity to get together and prepare for the third year of the ERA4TB consortium.
Read more about the in vitro research work package (WP2) team and partners
The lead partner for WP2 is UNIZAR (The University of Zaragoza). Founded in 1542, UNIZAR is one of the oldest and largest public universities in Spain.
Santiago Ramón-García coordinates WP2 Consortium activities. Santiago is an Associate Research Professor at the Research & Development Agency of Aragon (ARAID) Foundation.
Since 2017, Santiago has worked at the Microbiology Department, Faculty of Medicine of UNIZAR. He is responsible for the D2AMR (Discovery & Development of Antimicrobials and Mechanisms of Resistance) team.
With almost 20 years of experience in TB research, Dr. Ramón-García has worked both in academia – University of British Columbia (Canada), University of Pavia and University of Padova (Italy) and University of Zaragoza (Spain) – and in industry – GlaxoSmithKline – where he has acquired a thorough knowledge on antimicrobial resistance and the process of discovery and development of antimicrobial drugs.
Ainhoa Lucía also coordinates WP2 activities, focusing on standardization and data reporting. Ainhoa is a Senior scientist at University of Zaragoza, Microbiology Department, with over 12 years’ experience working with mycobacteria. Since 2014, Ainhoa has been focused on drug development and new therapies for different bacterial pathogens.
In ERA4TB, Ainhoa currently leads the implementation of the Hollow Fiber System for Tuberculosis in BSL2/3 facilities at UNIZAR.
Key partners for in vitro research work package (WP2):
ERA4TB Portfolio status
At present 7 molecules have entered the ERA4TB pipeline and 16 specific asset progression plans for in vitro, in vivo, preclinical and FTIH activities are running in parallel.
IMI AMR Accelerator updates
Read the November edition of the IMI Accelerator Newsletter here.
World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2022
World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24th March each year to build awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease. Follow the ERA4TB Twitter for updates on TB work.
Our recent dissemination activities
- 23rd November 2021: Almari Conradie, Clinical Operations Director at TB Alliance was interviewed on the development of TBAJ-587 and ERA4TB. See the full interview here.
- Week commencing 11th October 2021, ERA4TB project team delivered a presentation about recent progress at the Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New Drugs’ Annual Meeting.
- 26th October 2021 the project group delivered a presentation to the General Director of Research of the Region of Madrid.
- 27th October 2021, the project group participated in a roundtable at the conference: European Financing for R&D Projects in the health sector, in Madrid.
Upcoming events and activities
- 06 April 2022: The 3rd IMI AMR Accelerator Annual Meeting taking place in Basel, Switzerland. Read more here.
- 07 April 2022: The 6th AMR Conference – Novel Antimicrobials & AMR Diagnostics taking place in Basel, Switzerland. Read more here.
- 26 June 2022: Gordon Research Conference on Drug Resistance. Read more here.
- 12-16 September 2022: EMBO Workshop of Tuberculosis returns, held at the Conference Centre of the Institut Pasteur, Paris. Read more here.