Payam Nahid, MD, MPH, Associate Professor in Residence, UCSF School of Medicine, presented the Eck Institute for Global Health Scholars Lecture on March 20, 2013, titled: “TB Biomarker Research Strategy: The Way Forward.” Nahid was hosted by, and collaborates with, EIGH Associate Director, Jeff Schorey, Professor of Biological Sciences, whose own research is focused on the immunology and cell biology of pathogens responsible for tuberculosis and leprosy; diseases that impact millions of people around the world with billions at risk every day.
Nahid’s lecture abstract included the following: There is renewed interest in shortening treatment duration for TB and a number of new agents are under investigation in clinical trials. However, establishing efficacy of a candidate drug within a regimen that includes other existing or new agents represents a significant challenge. There is mounting uncertainty about the current phase 2 intermediate endpoint used, the 2 month culture status. There is an urgent need for new biomarkers that can adequately assess drug efficacy, appropriate drug combinations, doses, and dosing frequencies to be selected for evaluation in phase 3 trials. The challenges and opportunities of TB biomarker research will be reviewed.