As part of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, we are committed to supporting research for new TB medicines. Most medicines currently being used to treat TB are at least 50 years old, take too long to work and have debilitating side effects.
The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative
We launched the Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative in 2007 as a not-for-profit, public-private partnership with a mission to accelerate early-stage drug discovery. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the initiative brings together representatives from governments, philanthropic organizations, pharmaceutical companies, universities and other research institutions to search for new TB treatments.
The most important goal of the Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative is filling the pipeline with new TB medicines. The initiative’s founding members represent a unique consortium linking private, not-for-profit and public sectors and include Lilly, the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. In 2009, Academia Sinica (National Academy of Sciences of Taiwan) joined the initiative as a contributing member.
Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI)
We partner closely with IDRI, located in Seattle, to support their research efforts to find new TB medicines. We’ve committed more than $20 million in funding and in-kind contributions to IDRI from 2008-2016. Initially, we provided start-up funding and helped establish IDRI’s fully equipped high-throughput screening and chemistry laboratories.
We also provide access to Lilly research tools and our corporate compound library that now includes more than 800,000 molecular entities. IDRI uses this library to fill the research pipeline with high potential, structurally novel anti-TB compounds through the use of innovative screening approaches. In addition, Lilly scientists volunteer time to assist IDRI with its discovery efforts, contributing their scientific and technical expertise—and passion for finding new TB medicines.
TB Drug Accelerator
Lilly is a member of a groundbreaking collaboration between eight pharmaceutical companies and seven research organizations known as the TB Drug Accelerator (TBDA). The partnership is targeting the discovery of new TB medicines by collaborating on early-stage research. The long-term goal of the TBDA is to create a TB drug regimen that cures patients in only one month.
The partnership is unique because it breaks from traditional research and development practices. The members work together to develop the best prospects, regardless of where the drug originated. The structures of lead compounds identified through the program will ultimately be placed in the public domain. Aided by nearly $20 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the TBDA was launched in 2012. The first round of screening for new TB drug candidates has been completed and compounds are advancing rapidly.