Treatment Action Group 2013 Pipeline ReportTreatment Action Group (TAG) have just launched their 2013 Pipeline Report providing an update on all new tuberculosis drugs, vaccines and diagnostics that are currently in the pipeline (along with research and development for HIV and hepatitis C).

Significantly, in the three chapters dedicated to TB, authors Colleen Daniels, Erica Lessem and Mike Frick have found that a lack of funding and political urgency mean the TB R&D pipeline is ‘anemic’ when compared to those for HIV and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).

It is critical that the lack of investment and political will into TB R&D starts changing. As TAG state,

one-third of active TB cases are never diagnosed, reported, or treated, meaning that 3 million people are walking around with an undiagnosed disease, in danger of progression, death, and onward transmission.

It would be wrong to ignore that some progress has been made, particularly in rolling out new DNA-based tests which can detect TB more rapidly. However, these tests do encounter problems when considering they require conditions (high-tech labs, electricity, trained personnel) that are costly to meet.

There is no doubt that more needs to be done in the way of TB R&D. This report only serves to highlight this. As Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership says.

We need a massive surge in funding and attention for new tools to reverse this anemic trend. Unless we under this and act on it, our children will still be fighting TB many decades from now

You can read the full report here.