PROJECTS

Staff and collaborators at THINK are excited to be carrying forward ground-breaking trials and providing health systems support and technical innovations to improve the diagnosis and treatment for TB and HIV patients locally and globally. Our aim is to prevent TB and HIV, to close the gaps in the health care cascade and improve the quality of care and treatment outcomes for both TB and HIV.

HEALTH IMPACT PROGRAMMES:

USAID TB LON-SAFT (Safeguarding Advances in the Fight Against TB)
THINK is the implementing partner of the USAID TB LON-SAFT programme in six districts in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. The programme aims to close the gaps in the TB care cascade through a combination of Quality Improvement, Capacity building and Direct Service Delivery. MatCH is implementing the programme in Eastern Cape as sub-recipient to THINK.
Key-personnel: Dr Kristina Wallengren (Chief of Party), Jayandry Govender (Deputy Chief of Party), Dr Panganai Dhliwayo (TB Advisor), Dr Mohamed Manesen (M&E Advisor), Trevor Mvundura (Finance & Administrative Advisor)

Adherence Programme

With funding from Global Fund, PEPFAR and CDC, THINK has been implementing the National Adherence programme  in eThekwini since 2018 as sub-recipient to Keth’Implio, MatCH and currently HST. The programme aims to provide differentiated HIV care and offload clinical facilities by providing HIV adherence support through Club Facilitators in the community.

Programme Manager: Siyabonga Nzimande (Acting)

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

Name: SimpliciTB / NC-008 (B-Pa-M-Z)
Sponsor: TB Alliance
Aim: To Evaluate the Efficacy, Safety and Tolerability of a 4-month
Treatment of Bedaquiline plus Pretomanid plus Moxifloxacin plus Pyrazinamide (BPaMZ) Compared to a 6-month Treatment of HRZE/HR (Control) in Adult Participants with Drug-Sensitive Smear-Positive Pulmonary Tuberculosis (DS-TB) and a 6-month Treatment of BPaMZ in Adult Participants with Drug Resistant, Smear-Positive Pulmonary Tuberculosis (DR-TB).
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.