Broad Institute Receives $20M to Combat Tuberculosis
A number of New York and Boston philanthropists are funding a $20 million project to combat the spread of tuberculosis, which affects nearly two billion people worldwide.
Seth Klarman, the CEO and president of The Baupost Group, LLC and a member of the Broad Institute’s Board of Directors, and Bill Ackman, co-founder of The Pershing Square Foundation and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, spearheaded the funding efforts for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
“Drug resistant TB is a quiet crisis in global health,” said Ackman in a press release. “This epidemic deserves more attention and resources than it’s getting.”
“The first $20 million is going to help propel advances that will inspire and attract further investment,” said Klarman in a press release. “And as a result, millions of people around the world will benefit.”
Researchers at the Broad Institute want to develop shorter treatment regimens for tuberculosis. Many popular treatments require six months of antibiotics and — once patients feel better, which is usually before the end of the treatment cycle — they stop taking the medicine, contributing to the proliferation of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Comprised of Drs. Jim Collins, Stewart Fisher, Deborah Hung, Eric Rubin and Ramnik Xavier, the team of researchers also plans to learn more generally about the makeup of tuberculosis.
“TB has been around for a long time and we’re not going to defeat it tomorrow,” said Hung in a press release. “But with the amazing advances that are taking place today in biomedicine, and thanks to this wonderful gift, we are able to take the best and latest technology and tools and turn them against this widespread, ancient disease.”