SEATTLE, Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IDRI's drug discovery efforts continue to grow with a recently awarded $7.5 million in additional funding, plus an additional $7.5 million of in-kind services, for a total commitment of $15 million over the next five years from Eli Lilly and Company. The funding and in-kind services, which include Lilly scientists' time and engagement on projects as well as Lilly research and development resources and capabilities, will extend the work of the Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative. This marks the continuation of a long-standing partnership between IDRI and Eli Lilly, which started more than eight years ago with the founding of the Lilly Initiative, a unique public-private partnership that includes IDRI, Lilly and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with a focus on the discovery of new anti-tuberculosis drugs.
One of the world's deadliest diseases, tuberculosis kills almost 1.5 million each year and is a leading killer of people who are HIV infected. About one-third of the world's population is infected with the bacterium that causes TB, creating a potential reservoir of disease. There is an increasing threat from multi-drug resistant and extensively drug resistant strains, demonstrating the need to develop more effective, cheaper and faster-acting drugs - the prime focus of IDRI's TB Discovery Program, led by Tanya Parish Ph.D., Vice President of Drug Discovery.