The international PravaTB consortium has recently received a prestigious 4.9 million Euro award from the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) to conduct a clinical trial investigating the use of statins to prevent chronic lung inflammation and potentially TB relapse.
Patients with recurrent TB suffer persistent morbidity caused by post-TB destructive lung disease. Statins have broad-range immune-modulatory and anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial in the treatment of TB by reducing lung pathology, accelerating Mycobacterium tuberculosis clearance and improving lung functions.
The consortium will implement a proof-of-concept clinical trial to evaluate whether statins, widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs, could be employed as a repurposed drug for host-directed drug therapy (HDT) in tuberculosis. The goal is to show that by adding statins at the end of standard TB therapy, fewer patients will develop chronic lung disease after a tuberculosis episode, which would result in a much higher quality of life, and ultimately in less recurrent tuberculosis.
The coordinator of this consortium is Reto Guler (University of Cape Town). Chief principal investigator of the clinical trial is Friedrich Thienemann (University of Zürich), local PI in Cape Town is Sandra Mukasa (University of Cape Town). Other project partners include Robert J. Wilkinson (Imperial College London), Claudia Schacht (LINQ Management GmbH, Germany), Gunar Günther and Emmanuel Nepolo (University of Namibia).