ERA4TB (the European Regimen Accelerator for Tuberculosis) is a 6-year public-private partnership with a total budget of over €200M that began in 2020 with the goal of accelerating the development of new treatment regimens for tuberculosis (TB). As part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), ERA4TB brings together experts from academia and pharma, led by Stewart Cole (Institut Pasteur) and David Barros-Aguirre (GlaxoSmithKline). The project coordinator is Juan José Vaquero (University Carlos III Madrid). iM4TB is one of the 30 ERA4TB partners, and is the Work Package Leader for Preclinical Development.
The ERA4TB initiative is revolutionizing the way in which TB treatments are developed thanks to its parallel, multi-entry pipeline structure, analogous to a production line. This structure enables the efficacy of several drug candidates and drug combinations to be investigated simultaneously while allowing new molecules to enter the project pipeline at the research stage depending on the degree of knowledge previously available.
With this approach, the ERA4TB consortium expects to reduce the time required for the development of new TB treatment regimens by up to a quarter.
The ERA4TB initiative integrates more than thirty organizations from the European Union and the United States among which are the main global actors in the fight against TB infection (see ERA4TB website for more information).
The ERA4TB consortium expects to have developed at least two or more new combination regimens with treatment-shortening potential ready for Phase II clinical evaluation by the end of the project. The partners intend to maintain the ERA4TB platform active beyond the project official duration.
All Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) have committed to the goal of ending the TB epidemic by 2030 through their unanimous endorsement of WHO’s End TB Strategy at the World Health Assembly and their adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The commitment of the European Commission and the private sector (through the EFPIA companies in the EU) to overcome this global challenge is materialized through the ERA4TB Consortium, with the support of Associated Partners as key players in TB research.