Preventing TB relapse and chronic lung disease

StatinTB is funded by the second European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP2)  and will receive € 5 million over the duration of seven years starting in January 2019.

The international consortium will implement a proof-of-concept clinical trial to evaluate whether statins, widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs, could be employed as a repurposed drug for host-directed drug therapy (HDT) in tuberculosis.

In addition to the clinical trial, capacity building for the University of Namibia is an important pillar of the project, with activities planned to train clinical, laboratory and administrative staff.

The goal is to show that by adding statins at the end of standard TB therapy, fewer patients will develop chronic lung disease after a tuberculosis episode, which would result in a much higher quality of life, and ultimately in less recurrent tuberculosis. 

The outcomes of this project will positively impact the lives of TB patients on various levels:


Patients will benefit from a reduced probability of TB relapse. This means that fewer patients will have to cope with the devastating news of the disease coming back following completion of their treatment, and that subsequent treatment cycles can be avoided.


As acquired drug resistance is particularly common among relapse patients, fewer relapse cases will also help reduce the development and spread of drug resistant TB.


Lastly, after successful completion of their TB treatment, patients will be significantly less likely to develop chronic lung disease, which will lead to a much higher quality of life.

Core activities overview


Clinical Trial

Friedrich Thienemann USZ, Switzerland

Sample immunoassays and lab analysis

Reto Guler UCT, South Africa

Capacity Building

Emmanuel Nepolo UNAM, Namibia

Data Management

Sandra Mukasa UCT, South Africa

Project Management, Dissemination, and Exploitation

Claudia Schacht LINQ, Germany

StatinTB will have a duration of seven years starting from January 1st 2019.


StatinTB is coordinated by Dr Reto Guler from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, with partners from Switzerland, Namibia, the UK, and Germany.

A/Prof. Reto Guler
A/Prof. Friedrich Thienemann
Principal Investigator
Dr Emmanuel Nepolo
Principal Investigator
Prof. Robert Wilkinson
Principal Investigator
Dr Gunar Günther
Principal Investigator
Dr Claudia Schacht
Team Lead

For a detailed overview of the team members and
how to get in touch.