Wanted: TB test for US$100mil

Create a quick, accurate test for tuberculosis (TB) that can be administered with minimal training and resources, and you might just win yourself US$100 million in prize money.

Of course, you would have to allow the test to be sold at cost – meaning no extra royalties from sales; and you’ll only get the money after it has been proven effective over a period of at least seven years.

This prize fund is one of the new ways of stimulating research and development in TB mentioned by speaker Tileman-Dothias von Schoen-Angerer of Doctors without Borders during the session on Tuberculosis Research.

If that amount of time seems too long even for US$100 million, fear not, there is also a suggestion that smaller sub-prizes of maybe US$10 million be given out for important developmental goalposts in the research for such a test with only a two-year proving period needed.

So, any bright ideas for a quick ID on Mycobacterium?

Shiow Chin Tan, SciDev.Net

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