The Faculty of Pharmacy focuses on tuberculosis in the Baltic Sea region

2023-03-13

19-20 June, Uppsala University welcomes representatives of a number of Baltic countries to Campus Gotland and the conference Tuberculosis in the Baltic region • Moving into a new era. "We want to lay the foundation for long-term cooperation and national guidelines that effectively will limit the spread of tubercle bacteria, says Ulrika Simonsson, Professor of Pharmacokinetics.

Ulrika Simonsson, Professor of Pharmacokinetics
Ulrika Simonsson, Professor of Pharmacokinetics

At the turn of the last century, tuberculosis caused almost a million deaths per year in Europe alone. With the breakthrough of the BCG vaccine, the discovery of antibiotics and improved living conditions, healthcare managed to reduce the number, but since a few years the infectious disease is once more on the rise. With rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance and global migration, no geographical barriers remain, and now the threat is increasing in the Baltic Sea region.

“The corona pandemic clearly showed the consequences of what something that is not perceivable with the eye can cause, and resistant tubercle bacteria definitely pose a concrete challenge. Researchers are, of course, very aware of this, and my own group is currently part of ERA4TB and UNITE4TB, two international consortia that work together to develop new weapons against tuberculosis. If we are to succeed, both new antibiotics and methods for individualized treatment are required,” says Ulrika Simonsson, Professor of Pharmacokinetics.

During Sweden's presidency of the Council of the European Union, antibiotics have advanced on the political agenda. For two days in March, Uppsala University welcomed experts and leaders from across the EU to a summit highlighting antimicrobial resistance. Already in June, the Faculty of Pharmacy will host the upcoming conference Tuberculosis in the Baltic region • Moving into a new era, bringing together representatives of ten Baltic Sea countries with the intention to initiate a common direction forward.

"We will meet in Visby to shed light on a series of relevant issues: What practices do the various nations apply in terms of migrant reception and tuberculosis? How do we ensure best possible care with a focus on individualized treatment? And what characterizes new translational methods that contribute to effective drug development? Our ambition is to lay the foundation for more far-reaching collaborations and generate important knowledge for both WHO's and the individual nations' guidelines. We are facing a problem that must be met with the utmost seriousness, and seeing how more and more forces are now mobilizing gives hope that we can once again reverse the trend."

FACTS

  • The conference Tuberculosis in the Baltic region • Moving into a new era is arranged in collaboration between Uppsala University, Research Center Borstel and DZIF.
  • The consortium UNITE4TB is initiated by IMI AMR Accelerator with the aim of developing clinical phase 2 studies that will accelerate the development of new drugs and treatments against tuberculosis.
  • The ERA4TB consortium is initiated by the IMI AMR Accelerator with the aim to produce ten new antibiotic candidates and to develop new combination treatments against tuberculosis.

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CONTACT

Ulrika SimonssonUlrika Simonsson, Professor of Pharmacokinetics
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Ulrika.Simonsson@farmbio.uu.se

text: Magnus Alsne, pfoto: Mikael Wallerstedt

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Last modified: 2024-04-04