PROJECTS

Staff and collaborators at THINK are excited to be carrying forward ground-breaking trials as well as pioneering translational research and supporting basic science that will improve the diagnosis and treatment for TB and HIV patients locally and globally. Our aim is to prevent TB and HIV through vaccines or preventative treatment; to close the detection treatment gap; to significantly reduce TB treatment from the current 6 months duration (or 20-24 months for MDR TB) and support treatment adherence for both TB and HIV.

PROGRAMME

As sub-recipient to the Global Fund, THINK is implementing the National Adherence programme at large-scale, providing HIV adherence support to over 100 000 individuals in eThekwini. Sixty seven clinics in eThekwini are staffed with THINK Adherence Counsellors while mobile Adherence Counsellors provide support in the community.

Programme manager: Siyabonga Nzimande

RESEARCH:

New treatments under evaluation at THINK include the first new TB drugs to be developed since the 1950s. These have the possibility of shortening treatment for both drug sensitive and drug resistant TB. Improved treatment regimens aim to make it easier for patients to access and adhere to as they have less side effects, are compatible with ARVs, do not require cold storage, and do not include injections. Some of the most notable trials conducted at THINK are:

Name: TB Practecal
Sponsor: MSF
Aim: To test the safety and efficacy of a shortened MDR-TB regimen, using new TB drugs such as Pretomanid and Bedaquiline in combination with existing treatment options.
PI: Dr. R. Moodliar

Name: NC005
Sponsor: TB Alliance
Aim: To test the safety and efficacy of Pretomanid in combination with existing TB drugs, including Bedaquiline, as a new regimen for the treatment of DS and MDR TB over 4 and 6 months respectively
PI: Dr. S. Staples

Name: Peadiatric Bedaquiline Trial
Sponsor: Janssen
Aim: A dose-finding study to evaluate the safety, efficacy and tolerability of Bedaquiline in children.
PI: Dr. R. Moodliar

Name: STAND
Sponsor: TB Alliance
Aim: To test the safety and efficacy of Pretomanid in combination with existing TB drugs, as a new regimen for the treatment of DS and MDR TB over 4 and 6 months respectively
PI: Dr. S. Staples

Name: STREAM I & II
Sponsor: The international union against TB and Lung disease
Aim: To test the safety and efficacy of shortened 9-month MDR TB regimen using already approved TB medication.
PI: Dr. R. Moodliar

Name: Delamanid Trial
Sponsor: Otsuka
Aim: To test the safety and efficacy of Delamanid in MDR TB patients, when used for 6 months together with a standard background regimen.
PI: Dr. S. Staples

THINK has also been involved in various other research projects apart from clinical trials, for example: Diagnostic research with Avisa; Biomarker research with NIH; and a Social Science project for peadiatric MDR TB preventative treatment together with the Desmond TUTU TB Center.

In addition to cutting edge research, the collaboration between THINK and the Department of Health improves delivery of standard care and gives the South African health sector first-hand experience with new tools and practices in the sphere of Health Care.