Background The Pan African Consortium for the Evaluation of Anti-Tuberculosis Antibiotics (PanACEA) was designed to build clinical tuberculosis (TB) trial capacity whilst conducting clinical trials investigating novel and existing agents to shorten and simplify TB treatment. One of the objectives of the programme is to foster leadership development in sub-Saharan TB-endemic countries to move leadership to African partners in the PanACEA research programmes.
Methods and results In PanACEA 1 the participation of the sites on the consortium board was important to foster leadership development. African investigators now make up a large part of the consortium leadership and are actively developing new concepts. Delegates of the sites visited the annual PanACEA General Assembly meetings, where they could gain knowledge, actively participate in the meetings and discussions and network with others from the TB research community. Various sites participated at TB research community conferences (e.g. CROI, Lung Health Meeting) where PanACEA members gave presentations and could collaborate with other TB trial networks.
In PanACEA 2 all clinical trials are co-led by a European established researcher and an African Principal Investigator (PI), to ensure that African scientists are trained and mentored to lead in every aspect essential to clinical trial delivery, from trial and data management to statistical analysis and trial design, and from financial management to laboratory science. The capacity development cores, which serve as operational support for all PanACEA studies and provide high level oversight, also use the European and African countersystem, including senior and junior co-chairs among the African trial sites.
An example of leadership transfer is a large EDCTP application for the development of a new compound in MDR TB (FACE-MDR-TB) in which Stellah Mpagama is the lead applicant.
Conclusion The PanACEA consortium has actively facilitated a transfer of leadership programme which may be successful in future consortia.
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