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Tuberculosis

12 December 2007

High hopes for TB treatment

A new therapy for treating tuberculosis could cut the current six-month treatment time in half, expand the numbers of patients and save millions of lives.

A new therapy for treating tuberculosis could cut the current six-month treatment time in half, expand the numbers of patients and save millions of lives, the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development said Monday.

May save millions of lives
"Our model of what shorter therapy means is that it literally will save millions of lives," Dr Mel Spigelman, the head of research and development for the Alliance, said in a telephone interview.

Antibiotic combined with TB drugs
The trials will test the effectiveness of using the antibiotic moxifloxacin in combination with existing tuberculosis drugs. Moxifloxacin has already been approved in 104 countries for treatment of bacterial respiratory and skin infections. The tests seek to have it registered as a treatment for tuberculosis.

Antibiotic used with ARVs
"Moxifloxacin doesn't have that problem," said Plischke, who added that the antibiotic has been used successfully to treat other infections in people taking anti-retrovirals for HIV. "There is no reason to think it will react with anti-retrovirals."

Commercial, academic partnership
The clinical trials are part of a growing trend of partnerships under which contributions from companies and academic centres are coordinated and which now account for three-quarters of the neglected-disease drug projects.

A-Z of Tuberculosis

For more information on care and support of tuberculosis visit South African National TB Association (SANTA) or phone them on 011 454 0260.

 

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