First annual meeting of the global PredictTB consortium

From 9 to 11 May 2018, PredictTB partners from Africa, USA, Europe and China came together in Stellenbosch, South Africa, for their first annual progress meeting.

PredictTB is a large-scale, five-year project funded by the EDCTP, BMGF, NIH, FNIH, NIAID, Grand Challenges China, ICIDR and CTB2 with more than 20 million EUR. It aims to shorten the treatment times of tuberculosis (TB) in drug-sensitive patients through individualized therapy.

Coordinated by Prof. Clifton Barry from the US National Institutes of Health and Prof. Gerhard Walzl from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, the consortium performs an ambitious phase 2B clinical trial at several sites in South Africa and China, and develops a set of criteria to reduce TB treatment times using data from scans, assays and cultures to evaluate inflammation and lung pathology, to test for the sustained presence of bacteria, and to determine which patients are eligible for a treatment which is much shorter than the current standard of care.

In addition to discussing the progress of PredictTB itself, the meeting also included scientific presentations on cutting-edge tuberculosis research from various partner studies, the perspective of the funders, and several committee and work group meetings. To provide the Chinese project partners with an insight into clinical routine and patient management, the third day began with a visit of UCT Lung Institute’s clinical site for them. Meanwhile the African and European consortium members met to talk about the achievements and challenges in year 1 of the EDCTP funded part of PredictTB as well as about the workplan for year 2.