Skip to main content
Local News

Can New Drugs Be Tested with Computers? Team Explores Possibility for TB Drugs

By January 4, 2019No Comments

IDRI is partner in a European Union-funded consortium that is focused on demonstrating how advanced computer modelling and simulation can be used to reduce the costs of the clinical trials to test the efficacy of new therapies for tuberculosis. In a step towards that goal, the STriTuVaD consortium recently published a technical report entitled “A Computer Modeling System of the Dynamics of the Human Immune System.”

The STriTuVaD consortium, led by Etna Biotech in Italy, includes some of the leading researchers in this field, including IDRI; the University of Cantania and the University of Bologna in Italy; the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, Archivel Farma in Spain; Stichting Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative in the Netherlands and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in India.

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases: one third of the world’s population, mostly in developing countries, is infected with TB. But TB is increasingly becoming problematic for developed countries, due to the increased mobility of the world population and the appearance of several new bacterial strains that are multi-drug resistant (MDR). There is now a growing awareness that TB can only be effectively fought by working globally, starting with countries like India, where the infection is endemic. Once a person presents with the active disease, the most critical issue is the current duration of therapy including high costs  of treatment, the increased chances of non-compliance (which increases the probability of developing an MDR strain), and the time the patient is still infectious.

One promising possibility to shorten the duration of the therapy is new host-reaction therapies (HRT) offered in combination with the antibiotic therapy.

The endpoints in clinical trials for HRTs are time to inactivation and incidence of recurrence. With inactivation, it is possible, in some cases, to have a statistically powered evidence for efficacy in a Phase II clinical trial; however, recurrence almost always requires a Phase III clinical trial with thousands of patients involved and huge associated costs.