On March 24th 2021, World TB Day, Stewart Cole, President of the Institut Pasteur, stated that “Before the COVID-19 pandemic, TB control was making progress towards the sustainable development goals but, according to WHO, COVID-19 has set back TB control by 8 years!”. In 2020, COVID-19 overtook TB as the leading cause of human death due to a single infectious agent. Cole also said that “Governments have learned that Emerging Infectious Diseases like COVID-19 must no longer be neglected but policy makers must not forget that TB is a greater long-term threat than COVID-19 and need to plan accordingly. ERA4TB is an important part of the plan.” Since it first appeared, TB has claimed an estimated 1 billion lives around the world and, as recently as 70 years ago, was a leading cause of death in Europe. Today, TB remains highly prevalent in developing countries.
Professor Stewart Cole was invited as a speaker to the renowned Jenner Lecture at St George’s University of London in October 2020. Prof. Cole’s presentation emphasized the need to accelerate tuberculosis drug development, considering that over 10 million active cases were reported only in 2018. Prof. Cole also talked about the Covid-19 pandemic and how the lessons learned from TB research could be used in managing this global issue.
Watch the recording of the lecture by Professor Stewart Cole at the Jenner Day 2020:
2017 has been an exciting year during which the iM4TB Foundation made many accomplishments. Pre-clinical trials were successfully completed with PBTZ169 continuing to show all its earlier promise at being a new cure for tuberculosis. Phase Ia of clinical trials was approved by Swissmedic and are moving ahead at the CHUV; this was largely made possible by a very generous donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Innovative Medicines for Tuberculosis (iM4TB) Foundation announces Nobel Laureate Françoise Barré-Sinoussi as Patron
French virologist Professor Barré-Sinoussi has worked at the Institut Pasteur in Paris since 1971 and co-discovered the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the causative agent of AIDS in 1983. In 2008, she and Professor Luc Montagnier were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for their discovery. Amongst her other distinctions, Prof. Barré-Sinoussi is a Grand Officer of the French Legion of Honour. She received an Honorary doctorate from EPFL in 2014.
Professor Stewart Cole has been formally elected into the National Academy of Pharmacy in France as an Associate Member. Created in 1803, the French National Academy of Pharmacy began life as the “Paris Pharmacy Company”, which was officially recognized as a charity in 1877. The organization grew into the “Academy of Pharmacy” in 1946, and took its final form in 1979.