Joint statement by FIND, TB Alliance and IAVI on accelerating the development and delivery of new tools to end TB

Delivered by Jennifer Maple, Associate Director of Advocacy, IAVI
New York, USA, 22 September 2023

This statement has been prepared on behalf of FIND, IAVI, and TB Alliance, three product development partnerships, or PDPs, dedicated to preventing and responding to both long-standing and emerging global health threats, including TB.

Achieving the end of the global TB epidemic is only possible without innovation in research and development (R&D) and we urgently need to support the development and delivery systems of new TB tools to end the global TB epidemic. We need a robust R&D ecosystem driven by public sector investments to ensure that all of the elements of the prevention to care continuum are in place. We need to ensure that all R&D efforts are needs-driven, evidence-based, and guided by principles of affordability, efficiency, equity, and collaboration and make products available and accessible to all that need them.

The following commitments must be prioritized by Heads of State and Governments to accelerate the development and delivery of the new tools that are urgently needed to end TB.

Accelerate development of essential new tools to end TB

Member States must commit to create a research-enabling environment that streamlines and expedites research and innovation and promotes collaboration across UN Member States in order to develop and introduce existing new tools to prevent, diagnose, and treat all forms of TB and for people of all ages, and to ensure equitable access to the benefits and applications of TB research, including:

Shorter and more acceptable treatment regimen with less side effects for TB, DR-TB and TPT, applicable to all including adults, children, adolescents and those who are pregnant or lactating.

Affordable non-sputum-based point-of-care TB diagnostics that can identify early TB disease, including in children, new rapid molecular tests, chest imaging and user friendly genome sequencing technology for drug resistance, tools to monitor response to treatment (e.g., biomarkers), and tools to predict unfavorable treatment outcomes.

One or more new or repurposed vaccines, based on existing science and/or recent technological advances, ready to enter the registration process for global use by 2025, and systems in place to provide access to all in need.

These objectives can be achieved with supportive commitments to promote voluntary open data sharing and to support and establish public-private partnerships to end TB with a focus on developing innovative and accessible products and solutions.

Invest the funds necessary to end TB

Every country can contribute to an enhanced TB response and every Member State can invest in the research and development and delivery of new TB tools in a fair and equitable way, whether that be via financial investments, or by leveraging their research, manufacturing, and regulatory capacities.

Member States must provide increased, sustained, and accountable investments in line with Global Plan targets, leveraging existing and innovative investment mechanisms, to meet the US$5 billion annual funding target outlined in the Global Plan to End TB 2023-2030, including $2 billion for drugs, $1.25 billion for vaccines, and $1 billion for diagnostics.

All countries can contribute their fair share to financing TB. For example, through each Member State spending up to or beyond 0.15% of its Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) on TB research; and implement long-term funding strategies to ensure the sustainability of research progress and pipelines.

Member States must also commit to ensure that TB R&D incorporates access conditionalities across the R&D continuum and that such conditionalities are attached to all publicly funded research to ensure that rewards for innovation are independent from rights to market exclusivity.