Drugs in development for tuberculosis

  • Ginsberg A
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Tuberculosis (TB) drug research and development efforts have resurged in the past 10 years to meet urgent medical needs, but enormous challenges remain. These urgent needs are largely driven by the current long and arduous multidrug regimens, which have significant safety, tolerability and compliance issues; rising and disturbing rates of multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant TB; the existence of approximately 2 billion individuals already latently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative pathogen of TB; and a global TB-HIV co-epidemic. Stakeholders in TB drug development are moving to enable and streamline development and registration of novel, multidrug treatment regimens, comprised of multiple new chemical entities with novel mechanisms of action that do not demonstrate cross-resistance to current first- and second-line TB drugs. Ideally, these new regimens will ultimately provide a short, simple treatment suitable for essentially all TB patients, whether sensitive or resistant to the current anti-TB agents, whether HIV-positive or -negative, and irrespective of patient age. This article reviews the challenges faced by those trying to develop these novel regimens and the key agents currently in clinical testing for TB; the latter are organized for discussion into three categories: (i) novel drugs (TMC207, SQ109, sudoterb [LL3858]); (ii) present first-line TB drugs being re-evaluated to optimize their efficacy (rifampicin, rifapentine); and (iii) currently licensed drugs for other indications and 'next-generation' compounds of the same chemical class being repurposed for TB (gatifloxacin and moxifloxacin; linezolid, PNU100480 and AZD5847; metronidazole, OPC-67683 and PA-824)

Author-supplied keywords

  • AZD-5847
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Linezolid
  • Metronidazole
  • Moxifloxacin
  • OPC-67683
  • PA-824
  • PNU-100480
  • Research-and-development
  • Rifampicin
  • Rifapentine
  • SQ-109
  • Sudoterb
  • TMC-207
  • Tuberculosis.

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  • Ann M. Ginsberg

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