In January 2007, whilst at UCL, Prof Karl Hale met with Prof Stephen Gillespie. From their discussions it was suggested that Chemists and Biologists with an interest in TB should meet to discuss how they can help each other discover new drugs against TB. A meeting shortly followed, leading to a group of like minded scientists applying for an MRC strategic development grant to establish a working platform from which they could strategically build a TB drug discovery research base for the UK. Sadly, this was rejected.
Frustrated by this and the difficulty in obtaining funds to develop his research in TB drug discovery, Dr Geoff Coxon met with his MP, the then Secretary for State for Defence the Rt Hon Des Browne MP. After discussions and information from the House of Commons specialists, documentation was provided which showed that the UK did not, at the time, strategically fund UK based TB drug discovery research efforts. Following further meetings with Rt Hon Des Browne MP, Dr Coxon was advised to put together, with the help of the existing TB consortium, a formal structure to the group and in July 2008 TBD-UK was formed.
Having assigned roles and a organisational structure, an MRC collaboration grant was awarded to TBD-UK which provided funds to establish this web site and employ administrative staff to help coordinate a two year program to engage and connect established TB drug discovery scientists, and importantly others not engaged in this work, to collectively match their skills and experience.