On May 15 to 17, 2017, a site initiation visit was held at the National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NCTLD) in Tbilisi, Georgia, marking the final step prior to commencing patient recruitment for the STREAM Clinical Trial Stage 2. Stage 2 of the STREAM clinical trial was initiated by The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and is being implemented as part of the USAID-funded TREAT TB initiative. The trial represents a unique collaboration between USAID, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, The Union and The Union’s affiliate, Vital Strategies, and aims to generate evidence regarding the effectiveness of shorter treatment regimens for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The NCTLD was established in 2001, has 66 beds in its MDR-TB ward and acts as a referral hospital for patients with tuberculosis elsewhere in Georgia.
Vital Strategies, Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London, and Quintiles staff trained 35 Georgian nurses, microbiologists, data managers, field workers, and a pharmacist who will be involved with the STREAM trial. The director of the NCTLD, Dr. Zaza Avaliani, highlighted, “This trial is important for [Georgia] because it contributes to the national priority to eliminate TB and it fosters Georgia’s position as a regional leader in TB treatment.”