|Successful Public-Private Partnership Between
NIAID and Sequella Yields Promising New TB Drug for Clinical
Statement of Christine F. Sizemore, Ph.D., Barbara E. Laughon, Ph.D.,
and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases, National Institutes of Health
The need for new drugs against tuberculosis (TB) has never been
more urgent, as the global burden of the disease continues to grow,
and the incidence of extensive drug-resistant (XDR) TB, a virtually
untreatable disease, continues to rise. A key component in advancing
new health care interventions for TB is the creation of productive
partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the
National Institutes of Health.
The success of one such public-private partnership has been demonstrated
by Sequella, Inc., which recently received clearance from the Food
and Drug Administration to enter Phase I clinical trials with their
TB drug candidate SQ109.
SQ109 was discovered in NIAID’s intramural laboratories in 1999,
and developed with extensive support from NIAID as well as the
National Cancer Institute/NIAID Inter-Institute Program for the
Development of AIDS-related Therapeutics. (For the history of SQ109
development with NIAID funding, see “Kitchen Sink” at www.niaid.nih.gov/news/focuson/tb/research/treating/default.htm).
These efforts are part of a wide array of NIAID-supported TB research
projects, from fundamental research to understand Mycobacterium
tuberculosis, the organism that causes TB, through product-oriented
translational and clinical studies of potential methods of TB prevention
and treatment. The successful transition of SQ109 from the laboratory
to clinical testing not only represents a major milestone for the
NIAID TB program and Sequella, but also speaks to the successes
public-private partnerships can yield.
To view Sequella’s recent news release on SQ109, see www.Sequella.com.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is Director of the National Institute
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes
of Health. Christine F. Sizemore, Ph.D., is Acting Chief of the
Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacterial Diseases Section in the
NIAID Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Barbara
E. Laughon, Ph.D., is Chief of the Complications and Co-Infections
Research Branch of the Therapeutics Research Program in the NIAID
Division of AIDS.
Media inquiries can be directed to the NIAID News Office at 301-402-1663, NIAID
News and Public Information Branch.
NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health.
NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose
and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually
transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and
illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports
research on basic immunology, transplantation and immune-related
disorders, including autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergies.
Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials
are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.