In 2010, we opened up our Tres Cantos campus enabling our scientists to work more collaboratively with scientists from universities, not-for-profit partnerships and other research institutes. The Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation provides fellowships to individual researchers to develop their projects at our Tres Cantos labs.
We joined the first EU funded project for TB in 2011, and now after participating in more than 10 EU funded consortiums, we continue to be an active member of several EU funded collaborations. These are focused on developing new tools and models much needed in developing new TB treatments, validating new biomarkers, and repurposing drugs in clinical trials.
In 2012, our scientists screened our entire library of more than two million compounds – the building blocks of future medicines – for any showing signs of activity against TB. The 200 compounds subsequently identified were made freely available online, for external scientists to carry out their own research. To date, we have shared copies of these compounds with 30 research groups around the world, who are also working to tackle TB.
We are part of the TB Drug Accelerator Program – a partnership with several other pharmaceutical and public sector research institutions and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), aiming to speed up the discovery of new medicines by collaborating on early stage research.
We also became the industrial leader of the Innovative Medicines Initiative’s Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Accelerator program. Its aim is to progress the development of new medicines to treat or even prevent resistant bacterial infections in Europe and worldwide. Under one structure, the program addresses the scientific challenges of AMR by supporting the development of new approaches to prevent and treat AMR, of which TB is the main cause of death.
In February 2020, we joined a first-of-its-kind collaboration of philanthropic, non-profit and private sector organisations to accelerate the development of a treatment course for any form of TB, even multi-drug resistant forms of the infection. The “Project to Accelerate New TB Treatments (PAN-TB)” collaboration, involving several other pharmaceutical companies, BMGF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, aims to create a treatment course that is shorter in duration, simpler to use, and better tolerated than existing options. As a partner in the PAN-TB collaboration, we will contribute our scientific knowledge and innovative TB assets to determine the optimal treatment regimen with the potential to treat and cure TB patients regardless of the resistance profile of the bacteria causing their TB disease.