A global health emergency with ancient roots
It was known as consumption, the white plague or, during the Middle Ages in France and England, “king’s evil.” This disease, with ancient origins and the ability to spread quickly through families and entire communities, was often a death sentence.
Today, what we now call tuberculosis (TB) remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease. Although fewer people fell ill and died from tuberculosis, the disease is still responsible for 1.6 million deaths globally in 2017 alone, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Treatments exist, but they aren’t designed for modern times, and multidrug-resistant TB is on the rise.
Finding new, accessible and affordable treatments is the focus of groups like the nonprofit TB Alliance and the TB Drug Accelerator (TBDA) consortium, of which both AbbVie and the Alliance are members.
Now, these groups are one step closer to realizing this mission, with help from an AbbVie lead scientist and her group, whose chemistry inside the lab and as a team has led to the development of a way to create chemical compounds for TB.