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WHO gets $4.4m MDR-TB grant

Eli Lilly is to give the World Health Organisation a grant of almost $4.4m to subsidise projects to combat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis

Eli Lilly is to give the World Health Organisation (WHO) a grant of almost $4.4m to subsidise projects to combat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

The WHO will receive the grant worth £4,384,000 spread over four-years to scale up its MDR-TB programmes across the globe.

American pharma company Eli Lilly has pledged financial assistance that will help 25 countries to improve clinical management of MDR-TB

Dr Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO Stop TB department, said: "I am delighted that Lilly will continue to support our goal to strengthen measures to diagnose and treat all MDR-TB patients.

"This commitment is an important contribution and confirms Lilly's position as a key partner in the fight to push back the spread of drug-resistant TB."

Lilly's grant will help fund four key areas of MDR-TB treatment and diagnosis not covered by existing support in the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

In addition to support for clinical management, the grant will support workshops for healthcare professionals, expanded training for MDR-TB experts in developing nations, and field-testing and evaluation to monitor MDR-TB rates.

Alex Azar, senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications at Eli Lilly, said: "With drug-resistance at an all time high, the engagement i fighting MDR-TB comprehensively is more important now than ever."

"This grant represents Lilly's continued commitment to support the WHO Green Light Committee approved projects."

The WHO set up the Green Light Committee (GLC) in 2000 as part of the Stop TB strategy to enable access affordable and high quality second-line anti-TB drugs to prevent the spread of MDR-TB.

About 30,000 patients have been enrolled in projects approved by the GLC since 2003 to help develop MDR-TB medications.

12th March 2008

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