News from the FDA/CDC

FDA approves drug combo to treat highly resistant TB



The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted special approval to a new drug combo intended for the treatment of “a limited and specific population of adult patients with extensively drug resistant, treatment-intolerant or nonresponsive multidrug-resistant pulmonary” tuberculosis, according to an FDA news release.

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The effectiveness of the combination treatment of pretomanid tablets with bedaquiline and linezolid was shown in a clinical study of patients with extensively drug-resistant, treatment-intolerant, or nonresponsive multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis of the lungs. Of 107 infected patients who were evaluated 6 months after the end of therapy, 95 (89%) were deemed successes, which significantly exceeded the historical success rates for treatment of extensively drug-resistant TB, the FDA reported. The trial is sponsored by the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development.

The most common adverse effects reported included peripheral neuropathy, anemia, nausea, vomiting, headache, increased liver enzymes, dyspepsia, rash, visual impairment, low blood sugar, and diarrhea, according to the release.

“Multidrug-resistant TB and extensively drug-resistant TB are public health threats due to limited treatment options. New treatments are important to meet patient national and global health needs,” stated FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, in the release. She also explained that the approval marked the second time a drug was approved under the “Limited Population Pathway for Antibacterial and Antifungal Drugs, a pathway advanced by Congress to spur development of drugs targeting infections that lack effective therapies.”

In 2016, the World Health Organization reported that there were an estimated 490,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant TB worldwide, with a smaller portion of cases of extensively drug-resistant TB, according to the release, demonstrating the need for new therapeutics.

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SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Aug. 14, 2019. News release.

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