espite being preventable and curable, tuberculosis (TB) is among the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, killing 1.5 million people in 2020—more than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. Underserved communities bear the largest burden, with more than 95% of TB-related deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries, but this airborne disease knows no borders.
Growing drug resistance is compounding this public health challenge. In 2020, there were nearly half a million new cases of drug-resistant (DR-TB), which does not respond to the most frequently used first-line TB medicines. Just over 150,000 of these patients were diagnosed, meaning there are approximately 350,000 people with DR-TB who do not know they are infected. Drug-resistant TB now accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths from antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Disruptions to health systems and diversion of resources caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are worsening the situation, resulting in 1.3 million fewer people diagnosed and reported for TB in 2020 than in 2019.
For nearly 20 years, both in our laboratories and on the ground in countries impacted by TB and DR-TB, Johnson & Johnson has been supporting global efforts to end TB and combat AMR.
In September 2018, Johnson & Johnson reaffirmed its continued commitment to the fight against TB by announcing a new 10-year initiative with three pillars:
• Expanding access to treatment by offering a not-for-profit price to 130+ low- and middle-income countries, as well as nongovernmental organizations, procuring our medicine through the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility
• Improving case finding and strengthening health systems to reach the thousands of people with undiagnosed TB and MDR-TB and connect them to care, including by improving diagnostic capacity, training health workers, ensuring careful stewardship of our MDR-TB medicine to protect its long-term effectiveness, and raising community awareness
• Accelerating TB research and development (R&D) to discover innovative next-generation treatments that will be needed to reach the global goal of ending TB
At Johnson & Johnson, our top priority is developing and delivering medicines to all patients in need. We stand committed to working closely with countries and other partners to rapidly scale up access to bedaquiline and reach all eligible patients.
TB is an often-overlooked area in global health, and our 10-Year Initiative aims to change that. We’re working and partnering in new and unprecedented ways to modernize treatment, improve patient-finding and connect more patients with care – all with the goal of ending TB once and for all.
The greatest opportunity to accelerate the fight against TB is right now in this new decade.
It's not until that very last patient is cured that I'll feel rested, until then I'll continue to do what I do.
What inspires me to fight TB is our mothers, our fathers, our patients, our nurses, our healthcare providers.
We can’t beat TB alone. That’s why we’re honored to join forces with our partners in the quest to create the first pan-TB treatment. Together, we can transform TB treatment and end this disease once and for all.
Johnson & Johnson is advancing the fight against TB by doing much beyond the pill. We are engaging with partners at the national and international levels to ensure that we work with them to build the capacity and the systems needed to ensure that treatment is accessible.
I'm committed to tackling TB because TB is a neglected disease. A lot of other diseases have gotten a lot of public focus ... I'm really committed to making it history. And we can. It's a curable disease.
When we end TB, patients and families can go back to their normal lives. Then, we can apply and scale up learnings from TB elimination efforts to help more patients in other areas.
Janssen investigates possible compound for the treatment of MDR-TB.
Janssen team publishes study in Science showing new drug killed TB bacteria—including drug-resistant bacteria—in the test tube and in a mouse model at faster rate than existing TB drugs.
Our MDR-TB medicine is granted accelerated approval by the U.S. FDA as the first targeted drug with a novel mechanism of action against TB in more than 40 years.
Our company enters into a commercial licensing agreement with JSC Pharmstandard for the registration, commercialization and manufacturing of MDR-TB medicine for Russia and several other countries in the region.
Following a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency, the European Commission grants conditional approval of our medicine for MDR-TB.
This partnership with a procurement agent for the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility (GDF) helps to facilitate access to the company’s MDR-TB medicine.
Janssen announces collaboration with the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union) to include our MDR-TB medicine in two arms of the STREAM study, an ongoing trial to evaluate MDR-TB treatment regimens.
Our company commits to provide up to 30,000 courses of our medicine, free of charge, in up to 110 eligible countries through a donation program with USAID and Pharmstandard (quantities later increased, see March 2019).
The World Health Organization adds our MDR-TB medicine to its Essential Medicines List.
Our MDR-TB medicine receives an International Prix Galien Award, recognizing excellence in scientific innovation to improve human health.
In response to high demand, Johnson & Johnson commits to provide an additional 30,000 courses of treatment through its donation program with USAID and JSC Pharmstandard; ultimately donated 105,000 courses (see March 2019).
South Africa becomes the first country to recommend a bedaquiline-containing, injection-free regimen for all eligible MDR-TB patients.
Johnson & Johnson announced that our MDR-TB medicine would be made available at a not-for-profit price to more than 130 countries procuring our medicine through the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility.
A new cost-effectiveness study suggests both long- and short-course regimens containing our MDR-TB drug, without injectables, are cost-effective and provide significant health system savings.
Johnson & Johnson announces new 10-year TB initiative aimed at improving case finding, expanding treatment access and advancing R&D.
The World Health Organization announces revised treatment guidelines for MDR-TB that categorize our medicine as a “Group A” medicine to be prioritized when constructing a conventional (long-course) regimen for MDR-TB.
Johnson & Johnson ultimately committed 105,000 courses of our MDR-TB medicine, free of charge, to 80 countries through four-year donation program with USAID and JSC Pharmstandard.
Report estimates DR-TB deaths in a single year cost the global economy at least US$17.8 billion and calls for action to end the epidemic.
Johnson & Johnson partners with the EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative and eight European academic and research institutions to launch a new collaborative aimed at accelerating the discovery of new TB medicines.
J&J announces four-year commitment, focused on developing new innovations and accelerating the delivery of existing and new tools to combat both epidemics.
The U.S. FDA grants approval for the medicine as part of combination therapy for eligible patients over the age of 12 and younger than 18 with pulmonary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of all-oral regimens containing our medicine for all drug-resistant tuberculosis patients.
Johnson & Jonson joins a global consortium of philanthropic, non-profit and private sector organizations to accelerate the development of novel “pan-TB” treatment regimens.
Johnson & Johnson receives the first regulatory approval for the pediatric formulation of our medicine.
J&J and Stop TB Partnership announce joint efforts to accelerate scale-up of WHO-recommended, all-oral treatment regimens and drive progress toward the global goal of ending TB.
Johnson & Johnson announces five initiatives to help find and deliver care to the “missing millions” of adults and children living with TB who have not yet been diagnosed.
J&J’s pediatric TB formulation is approved for use by the European Commission.
First Satellite Center for Global Health Discovery is launched at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, aimed at accelerating new TB drug regimens.
WHO adds the pediatric-friendly formulation of our MDR-TB medicine to the Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) and EML for children.