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These two policy briefs explore two as yet untapped sources for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) research funding within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). While both agencies have taken up the challenge of developing much-needed solutions for antimicrobial resistance (AMR), they have yet to incorporate DR-TB into their work despite the scale of the threat it poses to global health.

“The Path of Least Resistance: Why Drug-Resistant TB Belongs in the BARDA Portfolio” zeroes in the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA), an agency with programs specifically focused on AMR, with an added emphasis on pathogens with epidemic and pandemic potential — a standard DR-TB most certainly meets. BARDA resources could advance DR-TB research and development (R&D), particularly in the areas of novel drugs and vaccines.

“A Round of DARTS: How ARPA-H Can Improve Accuracy for TB Drug Resistance Testing” covers the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), which tackles innovation in health challenges otherwise neglected by funding channels. The agency has recently announced a new program called Defeating Antibiotic Resistance through Transformative Solutions (DARTS), which will award grants to support R&D for diagnostic solutions to antibiotic resistance to best tailor treatment — a potential opportunity to advance DR-TB diagnostics and drug susceptibility testing.

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