On 9 October 2017, in Guadalajara, Mexico, several global health organizations launched the very first, web-based pathway for tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics. The TB Diagnostics Pathway (www.tbdxpathway.org) is a common good resource that will be owned by everyone in the TB community and regularly updated. The site was conceived as a tool to help innovators develop their ideas from research to roll-out, offering guidance on the critical activities to follow and right partnerships to pursue. The TB Diagnostics Pathway will help standardize research, commercialization and roll-out procedures to speed the introduction of promising, new TB diagnostics and adjunct technologies.
Among the site’s sponsors, on hand for the launch at the Accelerator for Impact’s (a4i) 1st Innovators & Adopters Workshop, are FIND, McGill International TB Centre, Stop TB Partnership, Unitaid, and the World Health Organization. The workshop took place on the sidelines of the 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Guadalajara, Mexico. “Stop TB Partnership is excited by how a4i has brought all of our friends and partners, from advocates, communities, country decision-makers and stakeholders, innovators, and multilateral and technical agencies together to solve one of our major challenges,” said Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of Stop TB Partnership. “Innovators need support to successfully leap across the ‘valleys of death’ that exist in the TB space, and in global health overall when it comes to rolling-out new products and technologies.”
“The TB Diagnostics Pathway is complemented by the Diagnostic Pipeline Tracker (www.finddx.org/tb/tb-dx-pipeline/), which maps the status of diverse TB diagnostic solutions,” said Catharina Boehme, CEO of FIND. “These support tools are instrumental in helping to guide development and further innovation.”
“We know that promising innovations need to navigate a long, complex pathway to reach patients who really need them. The TB Diagnostics Pathway aims to demystify this pathway and support innovators in navigating it,” said Madhukar Pai, Associate Director of the McGill International TB Centre. “New TB tools are critical for TB control, and our TB Centre is pleased to have contributed to this excellent resource that will help innovators,” said Marcel Behr, Director of the McGill International TB Centre.
“Accelerating access to innovation is central to Unitaid,” said Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of Unitaid. “We recognize the need for better diagnostics to expand TB treatment, and applaud this initiative that brings together many key partners in a common effort.”
“Starting treatment for any disease without a confirmed diagnosis is like using a candle to find a way through a dark labyrinth,” said Mario Raviglione, Director of the Global TB Programme of the World Health Organization (WHO). Reaching the targets of the End TB Strategy requires universal access to diagnosis of all forms of TB, including drug-resistant TB.” “The TB diagnostic pipeline has undergone a revolution in the last 10 years but requires much increased investment to avoid stagnation," said Karin Weyer, Coordinator of the Global TB Programme of the WHO. The TB Diagnostics Pathway will be an excellent resource for innovators to accelerate research efforts.”
Release by: FIND, McGill International TB Centre, Stop TB Partnership, UNITAID & WHO.