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HIV Cure-Related Research Workshop Report
October 2011 – The meeting, sponsored by the AIDS Policy Project, amfAR, Project Inform, and TAG, featured an overview of HIV latency, persistence, and eradication research; lessons from past clinical trials; a review of current or impending trials; and a full discussion of issues including trial design, appropriate markers and endpoints, and development of better assays. Participants heard a presentation on the ethics of clinical trials and discussed the federal regulatory process and how best to engage the several branches of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a coordinated and collaborative way to work together to ensure that cure-related clinical trials proceed expeditiously, ethically, and safely.

2011 Year-End Update
In this issue:


TAGline Fall 2011
In this issue:

  • A Golden Decade of Antiretroviral Drug Development
  • Cure Research Momentum Accelerates
  • What We Need to Cure AIDS?
  • Ending the Neglect of Childhood TB


2011 Pipeline Report (Second Edition)
HIV, Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and Tuberculosis Drugs, Diagnostics, Vaccines, and Preventive Technologies in Development
September 2011 – As this i-Base and TAG 2011 Pipeline Report, Second Edition, makes clear, medically, the prospect for people with HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and tuberculosis (TB) to live long and healthy lives—and in the cases of HCV and TB, to be cured rapidly with safe, effective, oral combination therapy—has never been better.

Cepheid Pricing of the GeneXpert Machines and Cartridges for Public Sector Use in High TB Burden Areas
September 3, 2011 – On November 12, 2010, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and partners jointly sent an open letter to Cepheid calling for affordable and expanded access to the GeneXpert® MTB/RIF TB diagnostic test. Following this correspondence, TAC and partners had a teleconference with FIND and Cepheid, during which Cepheid indicated that prices for the GeneXpert would be reduced. During December, FIND announced that it had negotiated a volume-based price reduction agreement with Cepheid, lowering the cost of the GeneXpert. However, TAC and partners remain concerned that there is little transparency around pricing, particularly as Cepheid is currently in negotiations with South Africa’s Department of Health regarding the procurement of these machines.

Guide to Clinical Trials for People with Hepatitis C
August 2011 – There are many new hepatitis C drugs being studied in clinical trials. People with hepatitis C have many options to choose from. Whether you have hepatitis C or another medical condition, deciding to participate in a clinical trial can be complicated. Having more information can help you decide whether or not to participate in a clinical trial, and which trial, or trials, may be right for you.

Towards Lab-Free Tuberculosis Diagnosis – A Strategic Vision for R&D into Point-of-Care Testing in Resource-Poor Settings
August 2011 – Although most cases of TB are curable, tuberculosis causes around 2 million deaths each year, in part due to late or missed diagnosis. The control and ultimate elimination of this disease, therefore, still rests on prompt diagnosis and therapeutic intervention to reduce ongoing transmission. Improving the performance of diagnostics and their availability is therefore key to reducing global morbidity and mortality from TB and thus achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

AIDS Research: Broad Health and Economic Benefits
July 2011 – Investments in health research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have paid enormous dividends in the health and well-being of people in the U.S. and around the world. HIV and AIDS research supported by the NIH has yielded important recent advances and holds great promise for significantly reducing HIV infection rates and providing more effective treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS.

An Evaluation of Drug-Resistant TB Treatment Scale-Up
July 2011 – Globally in 2008 there were an estimated 440,00 cases of incident multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Despite international calls for action to reach universal access to TB treatment by 2015, governments and ministries of health in high-burden countries have not adequately progressed with scale-up. According to latest estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), only 7% of the estimated MDR-TB cases in 2008 were reported (29,423) to the WHO, and about 1% of patients were enrolled under programs to provide internationally quality-assured treatment. Of the 27 countries considered to have a high burden of MDR-TB, only 13 reported treatment outcomes.

An Exploratory Analysis of HIV Treatment Research and Development Investments in 2009
July 2011 – The HIV treatment research landscape is changing. Thanks to recent treatment scale-up and prevention science breakthroughs and the new global treatment target of 15 million by 2015, there is real momentum to bring the epidemic under control and ultimately end it. To capitalize on these scientific gains, continued investment and innovation are necessary to prevent new infections, to ensure people currently on treatment are able to continue, and to scale up treatment to reach all those who will benefit from earlier initiation of antiretroviral therapy. This report from TAG, UNAIDS, and the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition documents $2.46 billion in HIV-related research investments.

Tallying the TB Vaccines in Clinical Trials
July 2011 – The relatively small community of researchers, policymakers and advocates involved in the search for an effective TB vaccine met in Tallinn, Estonia in September, 2010 to assess the state of the field and discuss the path forward. The sense of urgency driving this research has recently been underscored in the new Global Plan to Stop TB 2011-2015, which explicitly states that without a new vaccine effective against all forms of TB, the goal of eliminating TB as a public health threat by 2050 will not be met. As described by Claire Wingfield in TAG’s annual pipeline report, TB vaccine development has long languished despite the desperate global need, but there are now encouraging signs of progress. On the second day of the Global TB Vaccines Forum, researchers offered summaries of where their candidates stand on the developmental pathway.

Clinical Trials for People with Suboptimal Immune Reconstitution Despite HIV Suppression
June 2011 – Some individuals who initiate antiretroviral therapy (ART) experience limited recovery of CD4 T cell numbers despite suppression of HIV viral load to undetectable levels. The most common risk factors for this type of discordant response to ART are low CD4 T cell count at the time of starting and older age. Individuals in this situation still experience a benefit from ART in terms of a greatly reduced risk of opportunistic infections, illness and death, but their risk of these outcomes is higher than among people with greater CD4 T cells gains. For this reason, a number of clinical trials are investigating approaches that might boost CD4 T cell recovery in individuals whose CD4 T cell counts remain relatively low despite viral load suppression. The purpose of this page is to provide a resource listing of these clinical trials, which will be updated on an ongoing basis.

TAGline Summer 2011

  • Julie Davids Reflects on CHAMP and the Future of HIV Prevention Justice
  • Moving An Exciting New TB Diagnostic from Policy to Practice
  • Vaccine Breakthrough Comes with Caveats
  • Clinical Trials Will Play a Vital Role in Charting the Path to an HIV Cure


Tuberculosis Research and Development: 2010 Report on Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends, 2005-2009: 2nd Edition
March 2011 – This is the 2nd Edition of the Stop TB Partnership and Treatment Action Group’s 2010 report on funding trends for tuberculosis (TB) research and development (R&D) from the baseline year 2005 through 2009, the last year for which full data is available. Updates to this report include new and corrected information from product development partnerships (PDPs) such as Aeras, FIND, TB Alliance, TBVAC and TBVI, as well as revised data from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Hepatitis C Treatment Pipeline Report
March 2011 – Interferon is the therapeutic backbone of hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, as well as the major barrier to HCV treatment access, uptake, and completion. For many people, hepatitis C treatment does not work, and side effects can be debilitating. Fortunately, scientific advances and keen interest from the pharmaceutical industry have led to the development of dozens of new oral antiviral drugs for hepatitis C. Hopefully, it will soon be possible to replace interferon with a combination of HCVspecific oral drugs (commonly referred to as direct-acting antivirals, or DAAs) that will work for everyone.

TAGline Winter 2011

  • The Past, Present, and Future of HIV Microbicide Research Advocacy
  • The First New Tuberculosis Drug in Decades: Promise and Challenges
  • HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Network to Take On New Research Priorities Under Severe Funding Constraints
  • Microbicide Field Wrestles with the Implications of Success—An Update