Lilly donates $4 million for tuberculosis drug discovery

Donation to IDRI brings total donations to organization to more than $20 million

SEATTLE — Drug maker Eli Lilly is donating more than $4 million to the Infectious Disease Research Institute, the company said Thursday.

The company said the funding, which brings its total donations to IDRI to more than $20 million and its total funding for anti-tuberculosis efforts to more than $170 million, will support early-phase drug discovery efforts focused on identifying new drugs for tuberculosis, including strains of the virus that have grown resistant to multiple drugs. The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative was started in 2007.

"While preventable and treatable, nearly 1.5 million people die from TB and [multidrug-resistant] TB every year," Lilly chairman, president and CEO John Lechleiter said. "Today's TB drugs are decades old and must be taken for extended periods of time, which present challenges for patients and healthcare providers."

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