Issue 4:

September 2022

ERA4TB 5th Consortium Meeting: Madrid

The fifth ERA4TB Consortium Meeting took place in Madrid on 20 – 21st June 2022, co-organised by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Synapse.

More than 120 representatives of ERA4TB partners met in person after the pandemic to share updates and upcoming project activities focusing on asset progression and capacity creation.

Additionally, two satellite workshops took place to further discuss new designs for early clinical trials and the Hollow Fiber System model of Tuberculosis.

The meeting was attended by ERA4TB Scientific Advisory Board members, Gilla Kaplan and Francesca Conradie who provided invaluable reflections on the project’s progress. This included highlighting the need to continue expanding external collaborations and ensuring that future challenges in relation to antimicrobial resistance remain a key consideration for the project pipeline.

Spotlight on In Vivo research activities: Roland Brosch interview

We recently interviewed the In Vivo work package lead Roland Brosch to learn more about the ERA4TB project, the work package, and Roland’s ambitions for the project.

The full interview is available on the ERA4TB blog page.

Some highlights from the interview are below.

Can you give us an overview of In Vivo activities?
Work Package 3 (WP3) offers In Vivo testing (preclinical studies in selected experimental animal models) for new drugs and new drug combinations.

What have been the key achievements in this work package to date?
We have conducted one dose finding experiment for a new molecule provided by one of our partners. This molecule was also tested in other ERA4TB work packages. This has been quite a large program of work, which is now almost finished, so has occupied quite a lot of our resources for a while.

We have also been doing a lot of set-up work to get ready for when new molecules become available to us. In Vitro (WP2) activities are working on several different drug combinations, so once they have selected the combinations that are of most interest, and after internal ethical clearance, we will begin testing them.

What would you like the In Vivo work package and the ERA4TB project to achieve in the next 4 years?
Very few new treatments have arisen for TB in recent years, I think it would be a big achievement to have selected and confirmed a few new molecules in the preclinical models of WP3 that show good efficacy against TB and low toxicity and thus can go on to further development.

Read the interview in full here.

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.

EMBO Conference: 12-16 September 2022

Over 40 ERA4TB members attended the 3rd EMBO congress on TB, which took place at the Institut Pasteur in Paris between 12 – 16 September. Having been postponed for 2 years due to COVID-19, the meeting provided a welcome opportunity for those working on tuberculosis to come together, face-to-face.

ERA4TB research was showcased at the meeting through a number of poster presentations and speakers covering topics such as the Hollow Fibre System, OPTIKA and other innovative methods being used to explore new target molecules.

Upcoming events and activities

  • The Union World Conference on Lung Health 2022 (8-11 November): Combating pandemics: today & tomorrow. Registration is open until 11 November. Visit The Union website
  • World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18-24 November): This year’s theme is ‘Preventing antimicrobial resistance together’. More information is available on the WHO website
  • European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EEAD) (18 November). An annual European public health initiative to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance and appropriate antibiotic use. For more information visit the EEAD website.

Launch of external webinar series: Challenges around TB drug development and access (18-24 November)

ERA4TB is pleased to announce the launch of a new series of external webinars focused on promoting discussion about key topics in TB research and engaging with some of our key audiences – regulators, health technology assessment agencies and patients.

The first webinar on the topic of ‘Challenges to TB drug development and access’ will be held during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week which takes place between 18 – 24 November 2022. The exact date and time will be confirmed shortly.

Speakers will include:

  • Francesca Conradie – prominent TB researcher and clinician, University of Witswatersrand, and ERA4TB scientific advisory board member
  • Tohlang Sehlol, Senior Manager, Clinical Evaluation and Management, South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA)
  • Sophie Cooper – Senior Scientific Advisor at National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Further information with the confirmed date and how to sign-up will be released soon on the ERA4TB website and social media accounts.

Recent dissemination activities

  • World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day blog written by ERA4TB project member Katharine Cresswell (NICE). View the blog on EBHC website.
  • 3rd IMI AMR Accelerator Cross Project meeting organised by COMBINE – held 6 April 2022, in Basel, Switzerland. Read more about the meeting on the IMI AMR Accelerator website.
  • World TB Day Flashcards posted on the ERA4TB Twitter account as part of #WorldTBDay campaign (24 March 2022).