SMART4TB Consortium Welcomes United Nations’ Commitment To Tuberculosis Research and Innovation, Stands Ready To Bolster Global Research Capacity

NEW YORK CITY, September 25, 2023 — Following the United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting on the fight against Tuberculosis, the Supporting, Mobilizing, and Accelerating Research for Tuberculosis Elimination (SMART4TB) Consortium welcomes the UN’s commitments to ending tuberculosis (TB), particularly through advancing research and access for neglected populations. In a week in which health systems and public health coordination took the global center stage, the overwhelming need for cutting edge research that is effective and responsive to the needs of affected communities was a critical theme. Member states committed to mobilizing $5 billion for TB research per year by 2027 and affirmed the right of all people to “enjoy and share the benefits of research and innovation.”

“We are heartened to see countries uniting in recommitting to end TB, and especially in asserting the importance of research, access and affordability of evidence-based tools to achieve ambitious goals,” said SMART4TB chief of party, Dr. Richard Chaisson, professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Making good on these commitments is vital. SMART4TB stands ready to support countries in their realization throughout our research and policy activities.”

SMART4TB’s key research areas include diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccine preparedness and strengthening research capacity. Among the current and planned consortium activities that will support commitments made by the UN are:

  • Assessing point-of-care TB diagnostics to close the diagnosis gap, including for children, through the ADAPT and ADAPT for Kids studies;
  • Evaluating the anti-TB drug bedaquiline as preventive treatment for all forms of TB in adults, children and pregnant women (BREACH-TB);
  • Improving drug-resistant TB treatment with regimens based on individual baseline risks of poor treatment outcomes (PRISM-TB);
  • Testing shorter treatment for children with drug-susceptible TB with a stratified approach (SMILE-TB);
  • Ensuring the appropriate inclusion of pregnant women in TB research;
  • Developing locally led operational research studies in partnership with country missions and research stakeholders;

  • Supporting engagement and innovation from the research community in high burden countries through the Early Stage Investigator program, with mentorship and training;
  • Centering people and affected communities in all the above, through three regional community advisory boards: AfroCABTreatment Access Partnership (AfroCAB), Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organizations (APCASO) and Eurasian Community for Access to Treatment (ECAT).

SMART4TB welcomes collaboration with partners from affected communities, researchers in high-burden countries, and policymakers at the national and global levels to accelerate the end of TB.


The SMART4TB Consortium brings together experts in TB tools development, implementation science, capacity strengthening, civil society engagement, and policy translation. Led by Johns Hopkins University, consortium members include University of California, San FranciscoElizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, and Treatment Action Group. SMART4TB is a cooperative agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), made possible by the generosity of the American people.The findings in this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.