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  • Grant Provides Further Impetus in Search for TB Treatments
    Paul Wyatt credit University of Dundee

Grant Provides Further Impetus in Search for TB Treatments

Jan 24 2020 Read 478 Times

Researchers at the University of Dundee aiming to make a breakthrough against tuberculosis, have received a $3million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation over the next three years to support the work of Professor Paul Wyatt's team in the University's School of Life Sciences.

The team are working towards identifying new treatment options for TB, under the banner of the `LEADS4TB’ programme. Professor Wyatt, Head of the Drug Discovery Unit at Dundee, said, “We want to improve how we do drug discovery for TB and identify new candidate drugs to treat the disease. Tuberculosis has proved a difficult disease to treat for many reasons. The body responds to infection by encasing TB in the lungs into lesions, which are difficult for drugs to penetrate. Inside the lesions, TB enters into a dormant state that is very hard to kill. Even once the drug reaches the bacteria, it has a complex cell wall which is difficult for medicines to pass through. Once inside the cell, TB can break down a drug rendering it useless.

“We have considerable expertise in tackling infectious diseases in Dundee at the Drug Discovery Unit. The Gates Foundation has recognised this with the considerable support they have given our work over many years. Building on our experience, our goal is to find new ways of killing TB that could lead to the development of new drugs. With this support we hope we can make a significant breakthrough.”

While effective diagnosis and treatment has saved millions of lives, TB remains the leading cause of death from infectious disease worldwide. In 2016, an estimated 10.4 million new cases were reported,and nearly 1.7 million people died from the disease.

For more on the Gates Foundation’s work on tuberculosis please click here.

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