On behalf of The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative, Seattle-based not-for-profit organisation Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Taiwan-based research institution Academia Sinica, to collaborate in target-based screening for the discovery of new tuberculosis (TB) drugs.
Academia Sinica will join the initiative as a Contributing Member and will contribute to the research, development and discovery of new TB drugs. The most preeminent academic institution in Taiwan, it was founded in 1928 to promote and undertake scholarly research in sciences and humanities, and to nurture new talent.
It has 24 research institutes and seven research centres.
The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative's most important goal is filling the pipeline for faster, future TB drug development.
In recent years the incidence of TB, especially multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), has increased alarmingly.
The 2009 World Health Organization (WHO) report on TB states that globally there were an estimated 9.27 million incident cases of TB in 2007 - an increase from 8.3 million cases in 2000 and 6.6 million cases in 1990.
The primary members of The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative are Eli Lilly and Company and IDRI. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the US National Institutes of Health also has an agreement with Eli Lilly and IDRI to participate in the TB Drug Discovery Initiative.