Sphaera Pharma, THSTI and Wellcome Trust collaborating to develop a novel treatment for Drug Resistant Tuberculosis
Sphaera Pharma (India), a subsidiary of Sphaera Pharma (Singapore), and the Drug Discovery Research Centre (DDRC) of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute have received funding from The Wellcome Trust to develop a novel, first-in-class, therapeutic for the treatment of multiple drug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB).
This is based on a unique approach, first identified at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, that targets a host protein. The approach has the potential to be more effective, and is less likely to result in development of drug-resistance. It is also expected to work in conjunction with current therapies.
The incidence of MDR and XDR TB are on the rise and current treatments are not very effective, with long treatment regimens and significant side effects. Hence there is urgent need for the development of new anti-TB drugs that are cheaper, easily available, more effective and require a shorter treatment period. India also has one of the world’s highest burden of tuberculosis with approximately 66,000 MDR-TB (Multiple Drug Resistant TB) cases among notified pulmonary TB cases in 2011.
Dr. Sundeep Dugar, CEO, Sphaera Pharma Singapore, has indicated that this novel approach through the collaboration between Sphaera Pharma, India, DDRC and Wellcome Trust has the potential to deliver a first-in-class novel therapy for TB.
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About Sphaera Pharma:
Sphaera Pharma is an integrated drug discovery and development organization led by pharma and biotech professionals. With its global presence in India, Singapore and the US, Sphaera aims to bridge innovation, resources and expertise in a collaborative model to develop novel therapies.
About Drug Discovery Research Centre:
The Drug Discovery Research Centre (DDRC) is a niche Centre of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. THSTI is a part of the interdisciplinary Health Biotech Science cluster, located in the National Capital Region. The DDRC is a multi-disciplinary Centre that integrates basic with translational research in the field of drug discovery. The overall mission is to generate a robust and versatile pipeline by applying systems-level approaches and perspectives for both understanding disease-specific perturbations, and for the development of therapeutic strategies.
About Wellcome Trust:
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We provide more than £700 million a year to support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.
Our £18 billion investment portfolio gives us the independence to support such transformative work as the sequencing and understanding of the human genome, research that established front-line drugs for malaria, and Wellcome Collection, our free venue for the incurably curious that explores medicine, life and art. www.wellcome.ac.uk.