New addition to LINQ's portfolio: ENDxTB aims to investigate new TB diagnostic and predictive tests

LINQ's project portfolio continues to grow. We are delighted to announce that we are supporting the new tuberculosis (TB) clinical trial ENDxTB, led by our long-standing partners Prof Gerhard Walzl (Stellenbosch University), Dr Jayne Sutherland (MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM), and Prof John Belisle (Colorado State University). The project, which has received funding from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), aims to investigate new TB diagnostics and predictive test.

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) End TB strategy, approximately three million TB cases go undetected each year. This is often due to inadequate tests that are either not sensitive enough or require sophisticated laboratory infrastructure that is not always available, especially not in rural settings. The high burden of undiagnosed TB fuels on-going transmission and poor treatment outcomes.

Better tests are needed, in particular at point-of-care, to meet the WHO’s END TB goals. By comparing an array of novel TB tests, ENDxTB will identify the best tests for diverse situations and patient groups.

Deepening our collaboration with Stellenbosch University

ENDxTB is coordinated by Stellenbosch University (SUN), represented by Prof Gerhard Walzl. He is also leading the project together with the two other main Principal Investigators Dr Jayne Sutherland (MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM) and Prof John Belisle (Colorado State University).

With ENDxTB, we are deepening our collaboration with SUN and Prof Walzl, who coordinates two more projects managed by LINQ, TriageTB and PredictTB. The earlier and ENDxTB are include in the same large-scale multi-national research study that aims to evaluate new diagnostics for incident, active, and recurrent TB.

"Our goal is to conduct a global clinical project to compare side-by-side the most-promising new TB tests for various healthcare settings. We have included experienced clinical sites in Africa (South Africa, The Gambia and Uganda) and Vietnam, and laboratories in the USA and Europe, to test the performance of novel TB assays in cohorts that include adults, children, and people living with HIV and type-2 diabetes," Prof Walzl said in a press release about the launch of ENDxTB by the Stellenbosch University. 

Nearly 4,000 participants will be included in the large-scale study

ENDxTB will run for five years and enrol nearly 4,000 participants.

The project will look at the effects of diabetes and HIV on the TB tests as diseases change immune responses which could change the host signatures.

“It will be important to have a signature robust enough to not be adversely affected by HIV and diabetes," Prof Walzl explained in the press release.

There are also plans to look at the ability of the tests to differentiate between TB and COVID-19 infection.

LINQ will manage ENDxTB to ensure the project runs smoothly

With ENDxTB, LINQ adds the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the list of funders we collaborate with. ENDxTB will receive €6.4 million in funding from the NIH.

LINQ will manage ENDxTB and work closely with the entire consortium to ensure that the project runs smoothly. We will also support the project through coordination of communication and dissemination activities to maximise its impact.

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