NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- TB Alliance, an international not-for-profit organization with the mission of developing improved tuberculosis (TB) treatments, announced the appointment of Mario Raviglione, MD, director of the Global TB Programme at the World Health Organization (WHO), and Shalini Sharp, the chief financial officer of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., to its Board of Directors.
"Tuberculosis is a leading killer worldwide. The war against TB will only be won with new and better tools and treatments," said Dr. Raviglione. "I'm deeply honored to join the Board of TB Alliance to contribute my knowledge and expertise, particularly as the organization prepares for late-stage testing and the potential introduction of new, innovative and game-changing TB treatments."
"The TB Alliance's product development partnership model is critical to the delivery of superior treatment options to patients in need," said Ms. Sharp. "It is exciting to be working with an organization that has the potential to impact the course of this devastating disease and save many lives."
Dr. Raviglione began working for the World Health Organization in 1991 and became director of the Global TB Programme in 2003. In his role, he is responsible for setting the policies and standards on global TB control, coordinating technical support, monitoring the global TB pandemic, and translating new evidence into policies and practice. Dr. Raviglione serves on a variety of scientific committees, has published extensively on the TB epidemic, and has won numerous awards for his work on TB control. Dr. Raviglione graduated from the University of Turin in Italy in 1980, and trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases in New York and Boston, where he was appointed an AIDS clinical research fellow at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Ms. Sharp has been the chief financial officer and senior vice president, finance, of Ultragenyx, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing medicines to treat rare diseases, since 2012. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Agenus Inc. (formerly Antigenics Inc.), a publicly traded biotechnology firm, where she served as chief financial officer from 2006 to 2012. Prior to Agenus, Ms. Sharp held strategic planning and corporate finance roles at Elan Pharmaceuticals. She has also worked with McKinsey & Company and Goldman Sachs, specializing in pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Ms. Sharp holds both a BA and an MBA from Harvard University.
"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Raviglione and Ms. Sharp to the Board of the TB Alliance," said Carlos Morel, MD, chairman of the board for TB Alliance and director of the Center for Technological Development in Health (CDTS) of FIOCRUZ, Brazil. "Their expertise will be invaluable as the organization launches an unprecedented number of trials and initiatives."
Tuberculosis is a global pandemic, killing someone every 21 seconds—nearly 1.5 million in 2013 alone, according to the WHO. More than 95 percent of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and TB is among the top five causes of death for women aged 15 to 44. Today's TB drug regimens take too long to cure the disease and, especially in the case of multidrug-resistant TB, are complicated to administer and can be toxic. New drug regimens are urgently needed to control TB and stop the spread of drug-resistant TB.
About the TB Alliance
The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding faster-acting and affordable drug regimens to fight tuberculosis. Through innovative science and with partners around the globe, we aim to ensure equitable access to faster, better TB cures that will advance global health and prosperity. The TB Alliance operates with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, European Commission, Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, Irish Aid, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, UNITAID, United Kingdom Department for International Development, United States Agency for International Development, and the United States Food and Drug Administration. For more information please visit tballiance.org.
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SOURCE TB Alliance