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New anti-tuberculosis drug

Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug Pretomanid for treating drug-resistant tuberculosis — multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB).

Key facts:

  1. Pretomanid is only the third new anti-TB drug approved for use by FDA in more than 40 years.
  2. Pretomanid will be part of the three-drug regimen for drug approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
  3. The duration of treatment for drug-resistant TB can be drastically cut from 18-24 months to just six-nine months when pretomanid drug is used along with two already approved drugs — bedaquiline and linezolid.
  4. The all-oral, three-drug regimen can also vastly improve the treatment success rate and potentially decrease the number of deaths due to better adherence to treatment.

What is tuberculosis (TB)?

It is a disease caused by bacteria that are spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine.

In most cases, TB is treatable and curable; however, persons with TB can die if they do not get proper treatment.

How widespread is MDR-TB and XDR-TB? 

People with TB who do not respond to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, which are first-line TB drugs are said to have MDR-TB.

People who are resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, plus any fluoroquinolone and at least one of three injectable second-line drugs (amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin) are said to have XDR-TB.

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September 2022
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