QIAGEN applauds bold UN plan for tuberculosis prevention and care
Global leaders commit $13 billion a year by 2022, including actions to detect and treat latent TB infection
Hilden, Germany, and Germantown, Maryland, September 28, 2018 – QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today applauded a commitment by world leaders attending the first-ever high-level United Nations meeting on tuberculosis (TB) to mobilize $13 billion a year by 2022 to implement prevention and care for TB, the world’s most deadly infectious disease. The heads of state meeting at the United Nations General Assembly pledged to ensure that 40 million people who are diagnosed with tuberculosis receive the care they need by the end of 2022 and agreed to provide preventive testing and treatment to 30 million people.
Prevention is essential to successful TB control because tuberculosis often infects the body, then remains inactive and undetected until – if untreated – it can surface as the active, contagious disease threatening the lungs and sometimes other organs. An estimated one-third of the world’s population has latent tuberculosis infection, and up to 10 percent of infected persons will progress to active TB if untreated. Screening of at-risk population groups and treatment for those infected can prevent latent TB from progressing to active disease. QIAGEN’s QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus), the most accurate test available for latent TB infection, is now being implemented worldwide in tuberculosis control programs.
“We are pleased to see this bold commitment by world leaders to step up the urgent fight against tuberculosis – and the unprecedented recognition and funding for TB prevention. This demonstration of political will is critical if we are to eradicate the world’s deadliest infectious disease,” said Dr. Masae Kawamura, M.D., Senior Director, TB Medical and Scientific Affairs, at QIAGEN, who attended the UN meeting on tuberculosis. “QIAGEN continues to be a committed partner with the World Health Organization, public health agencies and private organizations around the world to provide the most accurate, cost-effective screening available for latent TB. As this new commitment takes hold, we expect screening with QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus to play a major role in preventing disease and saving lives.”
At the UN meeting, heads of state and government leaders agreed to provide $13 billion a year by 2022 to implement TB prevention and care, plus $2 billion for research. They also pledged action against drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis and human rights issues such as the stigma that surrounds TB in many parts of the world. For more information on the meeting and World Health Organization (WHO) programs, see http://www.who.int/news-room/events/un-general-assembly-high-level-meeting-on-ending-tb.
QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus is registered in more than 75 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. QIAGEN’s QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) and QFT-Plus tests are the market-leading blood tests for latent TB, with faster, less labor-intensive and more accurate insights than the century-old tuberculin skin test. QFT-Plus also has the future potential to deliver increased clinical utility by adding measurement of CD8+ T-cell immune response to detection of CD4+ response. CD8+ T-cells have been shown to play an important role in the development of active TB, and QFT-Plus has been cited by international agencies such as WHO for its potential benefit among migrants and other populations.
Tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial infection spread primarily through coughing by patients with the active pulmonary form of the disease. In 2016, there were 10.4 million new cases of active TB worldwide and 1.7 million deaths from TB, according to WHO estimates. In latent tuberculosis infection, the bacterium infects a person but produces no symptoms unless it progresses to active disease, at which stage the patient is highly contagious. As part of comprehensive programs to eradicate TB, WHO and other international organizations have expanded their guidelines for screening high-risk individuals and treating those with latent infection to help prevent further contagion and reduce the disease burden.