Conferences, conferences

Dear FIND colleagues, partners, friends,

The autumn conference season has given FIND the opportunity to bring together thought leaders in diagnostics. We kicked off October by co-hosting a workshop at the World Health Summit in Berlin, highlighting the notorious “valleys of death” that stand between a diagnostic idea and its realization and use. I proposed that overcoming these challenges will need our community to come together to set the right priorities and harness our collective scientific expertise.

Last week, our team joined the TB community at the Union World Conference where we co-hosted a symposium with the New Diagnostics Working Group that reviewed progress across the R&D and access pipelines, and explored new case-finding strategies. Dr Eric Goosby, UN Special Envoy on Tuberculosis, reflected on the resolution adopted at the UN High-Level Meeting on TB and what this means for finding the “missing millions”.

At the Union meeting we also shared preliminary data on the Fujifilm SILVAMP TB LAM test. WHO took the opportunity to announce the release of two reports to improve drug susceptibility testing for TB in laboratories worldwide, including a technical guide on the use of next-generation sequencing technologies that was developed in partnership with FIND. This work complements our collaboration to establish the ReSeqTB knowledgebase at WHO, strengthening the role of sequencing in surveillance and patient management of drug-resistant TB.

As I write, our fever, malaria and sleeping sickness programmes are in the spotlight in New Orleans at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) annual meeting, where we highlight the potential for integrated fever management and malaria elimination through improved diagnostic tools.