Cape Town, South Africa, 3 December, 2015: Today, as part of its commitment to advance global public health, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (Janssen) has announced it has entered into a novel collaboration with the non-profit organisation FIND to step-up the fight against the public health threat of tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
The partnership draws on the expertise of FIND and Janssen; in particular FIND’s innovative work in increasing access to affordable diagnostic solutions; the capabilities of Janssen Diagnostics - a global division specializing in diagnostics; as well as Janssen’s experience in pharmaceuticals development and innovative access models. The collaboration will focus on providing increased access to molecular diagnostics tools for TB case detection and MDR-TB diagnosis, and on ensuring accelerated access to effective treatments.
This need to address early diagnosis was recently highlighted as one of the core components of the post-2015 End TB Strategy.1 The inadequacy of current diagnostic solutions, particularly in terms of point-of-care diagnosis, has been a crucial barrier to efforts to contain the spread of TB infection, especially the more complex drug-resistant strains, with around one in four cases of MDR-TB being detected, and only 50 percent successfully treated.1
“MDR-TB is threatening the global effort to eliminate TB. The high rates of missed or delayed diagnosis are preventing prompt, effective treatment and allowing MDR-TB’s continued spread,” said Wim Parys, M.D., Head of R&D, Janssen Global Public Health. “Our aim through this collaboration is to transform the current model of ensuring effective TB treatment and provide faster access to a continuum of care, from prevention to cure,” he added.
Janssen and FIND will collaborate on a variety of projects with other partners, including developers and national TB control programs to close the gap in diagnosis and treatment.
“FIND and Janssen have highly complementary expertise in diagnostics and treatment,” said Claudia Denkinger, Head of TB & Hepatitis C Programs at FIND. “Together we can leverage this collective capacity to ensure that people with TB have access to rapid and accurate diagnosis and are quickly linked to effective treatment and care, whether they have drug-susceptible or drug-resistant TB.”
The partnership is the latest in a series of collaborative efforts by Janssen to address the global threat of TB. This includes recent collaborations with the Union, TB Alliance and USAID to ensure access to and appropriate use of current and new treatment options.
At Janssen, we are dedicated to addressing some of the most important unmet medical needs in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people throughout the world.
More information about Janssen can be found at: www.janssen.com.
About our commitment to global public health
Our initiatives in support of global public health complement the groundbreaking science of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson with innovative strategies that improve access to medicines, foster collaborations, and support public health solutions to sustainably advance health care worldwide. Current areas of focus include multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB); human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); elephantiasis and river blindness; intestinal worms; and use of mobile technologies (mHealth) to improve health outcomes.
In 2014, just over 6.3 million people were newly diagnosed with TB in 2014, and there were an estimated 480,000 new cases of MDR-TB1, a particularly complicated form of TB characterized by resistance to at least two of the standard four-drug, anti-TB drug regimen.2 MDR-TB is estimated to have killed 190,000 people worldwide in 20141, but one economic analysis projects that it could claim a further 2.6 million lives per year by 2050 if left unchecked.3
Daniel De Schryver
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1WHO. Global Tuberculosis Report 2015. 20th Edition. Available at http://www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/en/. Accessed November 2015.
2 Pub Med. Provisional CDC guidelines for the use and safety monitoring of bedaquiline fumarate (Sirturo) for the treatment of multidrug resistant tuberculosis. 2013;62(RR-09):1-12. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24157696. Accessed November 2015.
3ACTION org. Why We Can No Longer Afford Inaction on TB. 2015. Available at http://www.action.org/newsroom/press-releases/why-we-can-no-longer-afford-inaction-on-tb. Accessed November 2015.