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Georgia Medical (Tuberculosis) R&D Cluster

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General Information
The date when the cluster organisation was established: 
Monday, 1 January, 2001
Number of staff in the management team of the cluster organisation : 
Cluster Excellence Label: 
Bronze Label
Membership to other networks/partnerships: 
WHO GHWA Global Health Workforce Alliance
Cluster Management Team: 
Cluster Manager
Internationalisation Responsible
Languages spoken: 
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Education and Knowledge Creation
Technology fields: 
Biostatistics, Epidemiology
Clinical Research, Trials
Emerging industries: 
Medical Devices
Areas of specialisation of the cluster not covered above: 
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
Number of SME members: 
Number of larger company members: 
Number of research organisations/universities/technology centres: 
Number of other ecosystem actors : 
Entrepreneurship and scale-up support facilities in the cluster's ecosystem (see "Organisation type"): 
Name and link of major players: 
National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases
Larger Company
Cluster Strategy

Organization’s history, mission and objectives:

Georgia Medical Tuberculosis R&D Cluster was founded in 2001 on the basis of National Center of Tuberculoses and Lung Diseases (NCTLD) after reorganization, based on the Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung diseases, the city TB Hospital, and the Georgian Railway TB-Stationary.

National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NCTLD) the major player, historically has been recognized as a Center of excellence for specialized TB services and consists from several departments. Around 1/3 of all TB patients registered annually in the country receive either inpatient or outpatient care at NCTLD meaning around 8.000 outpatient visits, 1.500 hospitalizations among elderly and 200 hospitalizations among pediatric patients per year.

Since 2005 NCTLD became a lead organization for Tuberculosis Control in the country, cooperating and leading eleven regional centers: Regional TB dispensaries who coordinates peripheral TB cabinets and DOTS centers in there respected regions.

Activities carried out by NCTLD as lead organization included and were not limited to:

  1. National Tuberculosis Strategy development
  2. Guideline and methodology development
  3. Training on innovations in diagnosis treatment and research of Tuberculosis
  4. Organization of Regional meetings on quarterly basis in Tbilisi for regional Coordinators
  5. Epi-surveillance including all TB related reporting and recording, data analysis and data reporting to World Health Organization
  6. Tuberculosis National Drug Resistance Surveillance  
  7. On-site technical assistance with a group of specialists in each regional facility twice a year  
  8. Planning and carrying TB related research including Clinical Trials for New technologies, diagnostic platforms, pharmaceutical products est. 

Example #1:


The nationwide TB surveillance system is based on 3 main ways of case detection: passive (more practiced and based on the self-referral of the patient to a TB diagnostic unit as well as referrals from the PHC doctors), active (practiced in some groups of the population, namely recruits, IDUs, PLWHA and detainees) and contact investigation. The NCTBLD is responsible for data maintaining where the electronic data are processed and analyzed through a web-application by the Database Manager for yearly/quarterly/monthly reporting. NTP accomplishes overall surveillance on the TB case finding and diagnosis, TB contact tracing, drug susceptibility testing (DST) results, treatment regimens, monitoring, patient adherence to treatment and treatment outcomes.

Example # 2 Tuberculosis Research:

Since 2013 NCTLD has a new organizational structure, research unit, which oversees research activities and supports research capacity building in the Center, especially in the direction of translational research.

Research areas covered by the center include:

1. Operational Research

  • Evaluation implication of new diagnostic tools on patient treatment outcomes, TB-HIV case finding

2. Clinical Research

  • Evaluation and demonstration studies of improved diagnostic tools for early diagnosis and monitoring of infection
  • Clinical research to evaluate and improve effectiveness of regimens for treatment of TB, especially MDR TB
  • Evaluation of adjunctive treatment models

3. Basic Research

  • Antimicrobial drug resistance, biomarkers,
  • Studies to assess what factors influence the occurrence, distribution, and transmission of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains of Mtb.

Currently there are 43 ongoing research projects at NCTLD in collaboration with different US and European research centers and foundations. Research includes five clinical trials among them: Stream II (NCT02409290), NiX-TB (NCT02333799), and endTB (NCT02754765)

NCTLD has become a site for Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics (Geneva, Switzerland) since 2013. In the frame of this partnership NCTLD is carrying different new test-systems and TB diagnostic platforms evaluation and demonstration studies.



Do you have a formalised strategy?: 
Do you have a specific strategy focus that addresses internationalisation ?: 
Support services provided: 
Access to public support (regional/national programmes, innovation vouchers, etc.)
Direct advisory services
Facilitation of collaboration between members
Support of knowledge transfer
Innovation Management / Support of innovation processes (internal, external)
Details of support services: 

1. Access to public support:

NCTLD through state and donor funding allocates and distributed funds for TB diagnosis and treatment as well as incentives, vouchers for all TB patients throughout the country.

2. Direct advisory services

Quarterly on centralized meetings and twice a year by on-site visiting NCTLD experts committee on surveillance, drug management and laboratory diagnosis provides consultations and technical assistance to regional coordinators. In addition mobile committee composed with experts on patient case management conducts monthly visits for technical assistance to regional facilities.

3. Innovation Management Support innovation processes: 

NCTLD is a part of several consortiums, foundations and collaborates with European and US research organizations and is involved in multicenter studies bringing all innovative approaches in TB diagnostics and treatment in the country. All innovations are consequently shared with regions on quarterly basis and annual research conference meeting organized each year on 23rd of March by NCTLD.

4. Facilitation of collaboration between members:

All regional coordinators share their best practices on quarterly meetings. In addition resources distributed to regional centers such as diagnostic test-systems, pharmaceutical products est. (Note: all calculations and distributions are done by NCTLD) are being adjusted per consumption needs and redistributed by regional center between each other with support of NCTLD central pharmacy and central reference laboratory.

5. Support of knowledge transfer:

NCTLD holds a training center were all regional and peripheral facilities being a part of a cluster come for training on annual basis.

Cooperation Activities
International Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
United States
Our cluster organisation undertook the following international activities to support our members: 
Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs
Trans-national Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
Our cluster organisation undertook the following trans-national activities to support our members: 
Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs
Please explain: 

Participation in donor funded Projects (basic and clinical research), in technical assistance missions, international conferences and symposiums, meetings organized by WHO and other partner organizations (MSF, TB Alliance, The Union, ets)

Which clusters do you collaborate with?: 
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
Success Story / Achievements: 
Why should partners choose you for cooperation?: 

In the field of Health care and particularly Infectious diseases we have shown the best practices in the region and are a center of excellence as cluster lead organization. Partnership with lead European and US research institutions has shown our reliability in partnership and high quality performance of deliverables.