Novartis-Ifakara TB Research Partnership

Partnership Objectives

  1. To develop a comprehensive molecular tool for large-scale TB drug resistance surveillance as an aid to improve TB management strategy.
  2. To establish one TB genotyping centre of excellence in a developing country to track disease transmission.

Lack of TB drug resistance surveillance tools and TB management strategy are key needs in the African region. Lack of TB drug resistance surveillance tools and TB management strategy are key needs in the African region. Copyright Novartis

What are the health needs and challenges?

While there has been no new tuberculosis treatments developed in nearly 50 years, more than 12 million people around the world currently suffer from tuberculosis. Drug resistance TB has been emerged and spread due to the inadequacy of treatment. Lack of TB drug resistance surveillance tools and TB management strategy are key needs in the African region.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Validation of the molecular tool was accomplished by the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases located in Singapore, one of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, before the technology was transferred to IHI. A TB genotyping reference center was set up at IHI-Bagamoyo, Tanzania, where local infrastructure for biomedical research already existed. The reference center will ultimately serve the entire Southern Africa region.

Summary of impact through December 2013 and forward looking information

This partnership has resulted in successful transfer of technology, knowhow and expertise to IHI Bagamoyo and this center now has independent capacity for testing clinical samples e.g. sputum, blood for diagnostic purposes. 

Partnership information

Company(ies) Novartis

Partner(s) Ifakara Health Institute

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases

Disease(s) Tuberculosis

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Scientific Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

Targeted Population(s) Marginalised / Indigenous People, People with low income

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Tanzania

Start Date 2009

More information Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development

Completed date 2012