251528 New TB Treatments on the Horizon

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:48 AM

Paula Nersesian, RN, MPH , John Snow, Inc., Arlington, VA
The Global Plan to Stop TB 2011-2015 includes strategic commitment to “… promote research for the development of new drugs...” This presentation explores the status of new drug development for TB. Without drugs that are faster and cheaper than currently used first line and drug resistant TB medicines, we are unlikely to achieve the Global Plan's goals. Drug regimens designed over 50 years ago are still standard treatment for TB. If taken properly, they're effective. But considering many pills are required for extensive periods—six to nine months—treatment failure risks abound. Even if a patient is willing to adhere perfectly to their regimen, failures in management of these essential medicines, often resulting in stock-outs, thwart patients' good intentions. Availability of fixed dose combinations partially addresses one treatment barrier. But lengthy treatment duration remains.

The future of TB control requires development of treatment regimens that are short, easy to administer, low in cost, and that are well-managed. Stop TB's Working Group on New TB Drugs and the TB Alliance are actively addressing the need for new TB drugs. Currently, there are ten new drugs designed to control TB in the clinical development pipeline. The most promising include: a diarylquinolone, TMC-207 (for MDR-TB); nitroimidazoles, such as PA-824 and OPC-67683 (for latent, first line and drug resistant TB treatment); and moxifloxacin and gatifloxacin (to shorten treatment).

These medications could push TB treatment and control in the right direction, if sufficient attention, funding, and support are sustained.

Learning Areas:
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe barriers to effective treatment attributable to TB medicines. Name the organizations at the forefront of new TB medicine development. Discuss products in the development pipeline and the benefits they offer over standard treatment.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research for this presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.