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In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

September 5, 2023 by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

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The World Health Organization (WHO) last week announced its first COVID-19 vaccine license agreement through the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) with Taiwanese manufacturer Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. The vaccine license was acquired through the Medicines Patent Pool, which also enabled last week additional agreements under C-TAP for a COVID-19 vaccine prototype and a test used to measure COVID-19 antibody levels. While C-TAP was launched at the height of the pandemic to promote technology sharing to improve access, particularly to vaccines, in low-income countries, major pharmaceutical companies have thus far declined to join the initiative.

A clinical trial led by researchers at St George’s, University of London found that a higher dose of the antibiotic rifampicin for an abbreviated four-month treatment regimen for tuberculous (TB) was safe with no increases in side effects or toxicities, compared to the standard six months, which is WHO-recommended. The trial took place among adults with newly diagnosed pulmonary tuberculosis in Uganda, Guinea, Peru, Nepal, Botswana, and Pakistan. Experts say shorter treatment regimens will help lower costs and increase patient compliance, which will in turn reduce transmission and the development of resistance to available TB drugs.

CSL Sequiris announced that it received an award from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to deliver a vaccine for bird flu to the US government, increasing BARDA’s stockpile in case of an outbreak. The company will deliver one bulk lot of the H5N8 A/Astrakhan antigen to the US government, whose development has been supported by BARDA in recent years. The agreement is intended to improve US national vaccine preparedness and is especially significant as bird flu continues to be detected around the world, including a small number of human cases.

About the author

Hannah Sachs-WetstoneGHTC

Hannah supports advocacy and communications activities and member coordination for GHTC. Her role includes developing and disseminating digital communications, tracking member and policy news, engaging coalition members, and organizing meetings and events.Prior to joining GHTC, more about this author