Porto university part of €185M project to develop new tuberculosis drugs

  • Lusa
  • 22 July 2021

Over the next years, the 30 institutions from 13 EU countries that make up the Horizon 2020 programme will promote the creation of new drugs to "treat or prevent resistant bacterial infections".

The Institute of Public Health at the University of Porto (ISPUP) is part of a European project that, funded by €185 million by the Horizon 2020 programme, aims to accelerate the development of new solutions for the treatment of tuberculosis.

In a note published on the ‘site’ of the University of Porto, ISPUP says today that the project, entitled UNITE4TB and launched this month, aims to “mark a new era in the treatment of tuberculosis”.

Over the next seven years, the 30 institutions from 13 European Union countries that make up the consortium will join forces to promote the creation of new drugs to “treat or prevent resistant bacterial infections”.

The institutions include Oxford University, Lancaster University, University of Hamburg, University of Milan, Radboud University Medical Center, Research Center Borstel and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The aim is to “find new drugs that are able to treat patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis effectively, affordably and quickly”.

In the publication, the ISPUP recalls that multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is considered “a public health challenge” by being resistant to at least two crucial antituberculosis drugs for the treatment of the disease (isoniazid and rifampicin).

“The lack of therapeutic options compromises the control of the disease and the cure of infected patients, making it difficult to interrupt the chain of transmission”.

Under the project, ISPUP researchers will, under the guidance of researcher and physician Raquel Duarte, lead the “implementation, dissemination and communication” activities of the project in collaboration with other partners of the consortium.

Quoted in the publication, the researcher stresses that the various partners “will work together to conduct new clinical trials that will accelerate the development of therapeutic solutions for susceptible and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis”.

“The ISPUP will assume an important role in the consortium, as responsible for the area of dissemination and communication, helping to bring the knowledge produced to the various project partners and the community,” adds Raquel Duarte.

Funded at €185 million by the Horizon 2020 programme, the project includes academic institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises, public and pharmaceutical organisations.

Of the project’s overall budget, ISPUP will receive around €616,000.