The new project TriageTB sets out to transform the TB diagnostic landscape

The latest addition to LINQ’s project portfolio, the TriageTB project, marks the continuation of a long-standing successful collaboration with a team of TB experts who have made it their goal to speed up and streamline how TB is diagnosed in resource-limited settings.

On 14 & 15 November 2019, the project consortium came together in Cape Town, South Africa, to officially start up the new four-year initiative, funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). Most of the experts from Africa and Europe behind this project have already successfully worked together in the two previous EDCTP-funded initiatives AE-TBC (“African European Tuberculosis Consortium”, July 2010 – December 2013) and ScreenTB (“Evaluation of host biomarker-based point-of-care tests for targeted screening for active TB”, April 2016 – July 2019).

They have now teamed up with the Foundation of Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) to further improve the test and ensure its global applicability and prepare its commercialization.TriageTB is implemented by a team of passionate people with very complementary skills but one common goal: to make a real difference in the lives of patients. They are combining their extensive experience in biomarker discovery, clinical research, assay development, commercialization, capacity development and networking to develop a triage test, or rule-out test, with low complexity that can be performed at the point-of-care (POC) in a laboratory-free manner by minimally trained health care workers.

This is to identify patients with the highest risk for active TB. The test would quickly rule out patients who do not suffer from TB but have other respiratory illnesses. A positive test result would indicate a high likelihood for active TB and focus health worker attention on this smaller number of patients and support the diagnostic workup process, allowing a definitive diagnosis and quick initiation of treatment.

LINQ will manage the TriageTB project ensuring a smooth implementation of the initiative and provide all necessary support to facilitate communication about the project, promote effective dissemination of its results as well as assist with optimal uptake and exploitation of project outcomes. Collaborators include Stellenbosch University (South Africa) as a coordinator, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK), the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at LSHTM (The Gambia), Makerere University (Uganda), LINQ management GmbH (Germany), Leiden University Medical Center (The Netherlands), and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (Switzerland).