outbrain
Close  

FDA approves TB pill that cures more hard-to-treat patients

/ 06:44 AM August 15, 2019

TRENTON, N.J.  – U.S. regulators Wednesday approved a new tuberculosis medicine that shortens and improves treatment for the hardest-to-treat cases, a worsening problem in many poor countries.

 FDA approves TB pill that cures more hard-to-treat patients

This undated photo provided by the TB Alliance in August 2019 shows the drug pretomanid. On Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved pretomanid, the first tuberculosis drug developed by a nonprofit group. The TB Alliance was formed to come up with better treatments for the pulmonary disease. (TB Alliance via AP)

It’s the first TB drug from a nonprofit group, the TB Alliance. Formed to come up with better treatments, the group developed pretomanid with help from charities and government agencies.

ADVERTISEMENT

The pill was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use with two other antibiotics. Decades of incomplete or ineffective treatment has resulted in TB strains that have become drug resistant and aren’t killed by long-standard medicines.

In a key study, the three-pill combo cured about 90% of patients with very drug-resistant TB, usually within 6 months. Patients also infected with HIV, a common situation, fared as well as the other study participants. Pretomanid also appears to stop patients from spreading the deadly bacterial infection after just a few days’ treatment.

FEATURED STORIES

Until now, the best option cured about two-thirds of patients, took 18 to 30 months and required up to eight kinds of shots and pills. Many patients die or don’t finish treatment, according to TB Alliance CEO Mel Spigelman.

Worldwide, TB kills about 1.6 million people annually. It spreads through droplets when someone sick with TB sneezes or coughs. TB attacks the lungs and sometimes other organs.

Pretomanid was approved for use with Zyvox and Sirturo, two other antibiotics used for the toughest cases. The three drugs, which have little known resistance, attack tuberculosis in different ways. Potential side effects include liver damage, nerve pain and an irregular heartbeat.

The new combo could help over 75,000 patients per year, mostly in India, China, Indonesia, South Africa and Nigeria, Spigelman said. The FDA is the first regulator to approve pretomanid, though there aren’t many severe cases in the U.S. The FDA’s action should bring quick approval in countries where it’s endemic.

The alliance will work with the World Health Organization to speed adoption of the treatment in those countries. The alliance is contracting with multiple generic manufacturers to make pretomanid and keep it affordable. /gsg

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: health news, medical, pretomanid, TB drug, TB pill, world news
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.