ERA4TB praised for its ‘impressive programme’ in mid-term review
On April 26, 2023, ERA4TB had its mid-term review by a panel of external experts and its grant funder, the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI). ERA4TB was described as ‘a very ambitious, well organised and impressive programme addressing a major health issue’.
IHI also made recommendations for the future. Among others, ERA4TB was encouraged to:
- Further explore its work around developing combinations
- Continuing to seek new assets to add to the pipeline
- Increasing engagement with complementary initiatives and patient representatives.
Work has begun to address these recommendations and updates will be posted on the News section of the ERA4TB website.
ERA4TB 7th Consortium Meeting: Barcelona
Over 100 members from across Europe and the US attended the seventh ERA4TB Consortium Meeting in Barcelona between 15th-16th June 2023.
The Consortium Meeting included presentations from key project partners describing areas of asset progression over the previous 6 months, and highlighting challenges and future considerations.
There were also demonstrations of integrated data platforms and discussions on plans to address feedback form ERA4TB’s external mid-term review.
Two members of ERA4TB’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), Gilla Kaplan and Marco Cavalieri, attended the meeting and provided their feedback on what they had heard over the previous days.
“The analysis of how capacity and expertise complement each other to determine the flow of efforts among the organizations is highly valuable” – Gilla Kaplan
“Impressive breadth of investigations have been already conducted both on new methods and with possible TB drugs candidates, and more will come. Kudos!” –Marco Cavalieri
- What’s next for ERA4TB’s preclinical in vivo models led by Institut Pasteur (IPP) and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)
- Ethics issues concerning early clinical trials led by Servicio Madrileño de Salud (SERMAS)
- To infinity and beyond – profiling ERA4TB asset sustainability led by SYNAPSE
Spotlight on Work Package 6
We recently interviewed Claudia Antoni, Scientific Project Manager within work package 6 at the Innovative Medicines for Tuberculosis (iM4TB) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The full interview is available on the blog page, some highlights are below.
Can you give us an overview of Work Package 6 (WP6)?
We work in close contact with both molecular owners and CROs/CDMOs (partners with capabilities to conduct the selected activities on their site). We participate to the first introductive meeting with the CROs/CDMOs and we proceed to the final selection based on their technical capabilities but also based on the best value for money principle.
As WP6 we establish formal contracts (MSA, TO etc.) with the CROs/CDMOs. We are constantly present during the several study phases, implementing amendments to the study when necessary, ensuring that the project progresses in the several study steps.
Finally, we proceed to the upload of the final reports to the ERA4TB platform, which will be available for every WPs member.
What have been the key achievements in ERA4TB to date?
The immense network and collaborations made with all ERA4TB partners, which has created a powerful research team of experts. In addition, the selection of potential anti-TB molecules which show great potentials for the next research phases.
What would you like to achieve by the end of the ERA4TB project?
I hope that we will be able to find few very good candidates against-TB, with possibly a selection of few more interesting molecules with different mechanism of action that could progress into the anti-TB research.
19th World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology
On 5th July 2023, ERA4TB hosted a workshop at the 19th World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology held in Glasgow, Scotland.
The workshop, called ‘ERA4TB- Closing the gap between early bacterial activity and clinical cure’, included sessions on:
- Novel in vitro tools to inform pre-clinical and clinical progression of TB combination therapy
- Treatment relapse: interaction between the immune system and anti-tubercular drugs
- Selection of companion drugs and dose rationale for combination therapy
- Modelling of the immune response and prediction of treatment relapse
- Understanding drug distribution in lung tissue, lesion and granulomas
The session was chaired by ERA4TB In Vivo work package lead, Santiago Ramon Garcia, ARAID Investigator, ARAID Foundation/University of Zaragoza, Spain, and Modelling and Simulation work package lead, Prof. Oscar Della Pasqua, National Research Council (CNR), Italy.
For more information visit:Closing the gap between early bacterial activity and clinical cure (wcp2023.org)
Webinar (20 September 2023) – key innovations in the ERA4TB project
ERA4TB partner, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) hosted a webinar sharing some of the key innovations from the project over the last 3 and a half years, particularly with in the In Vitro and In Vivo work packages.
Four presentations were given by the following speakers:
- Diana Angelica Aguilar Ayala (University of Zaragoza) discussing the ‘Development of the Hollow Fibre System for PKPD studies’.
- Laura Cioetto Mazzabò (University of Padova) discussing ‘Optimization of in vitro Granuloma-like structure assay in Mycobacterium TB’.
- Jordana Galizia, PhD (University of Zaragoza) discussing ‘Optimized Time Kill Assays (OPTIKA) to evaluate the efficacy of novel anti-TB drug combinations in-vitro’.
- Julien Lemaitre (CEA) discussing NHP models for TB
A recording of the webinar will be available shortly in the Video Library of the ERA4TB website.
ERA4TB Portfolio status
Overview of ERA4TB Asset Progression Plans (APPs). At present, 7 different molecules are being progressed on the ERA4TB pipeline where in-vivo, in-vitro, preclinical development activities and First-in-Human studies are being undertaken in parallel, as shown below.
Upcoming events and activities
- The Union Conference on Lung Health – 15-18 November, Paris- several members of ERA4TB will be presenting. More information available: Home – The Union Conference 2023
- World Antimicrobial Awareness Week – 18-24 November – the theme this year remains “Preventing Antimicrobial resistance together” More information can be found on the WHO website: World AMR Awareness Week (who.int)
Recent dissemination activities
- ERA4TB members have prominent role in leading Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Tuberculosis Drug Discovery and Development (23-28 July 2023). Read in full here.
- Presentations at the International Workshop on Clinical Pharmacology of Tuberculosis Drugs (26-27 September 2023).
- Paper presentation at Jornadas SARTECO conference (20-22 September 2023) by Lara Visuña, Javier Garcia-Blas and Jesús Carretero.