PRETOMANID: US FDA approves new drug for drug-resistant TB

United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved new drug-Pretomanid for treating drug-resistant strain of Tuberculosis (TB). Pretomanid is novel compound developed by New York-based non-profit organisation TB Alliance. It is used alongside two other antibiotics (bedaquiline and linezolid) to treat extremely drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis. This three-drug regimen is collectively known as BPaL regimen and it can cure highly drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis by drastically shortening treatment period.

Significance of BPaL regimen

Before FDA approval to this combination therapy, the most common treatment used for extremely drug resistace tuberculosis required patients to take around 30 pills day plus sometimes daily injections for at least 18 months. This new treatment lowers that dose to 5 pills/day over 6 months for most patients. This treatment regimen had achieved 90% success rate during six months of treatment and six months of post-treatment follow-ups after it was tested on 109 patients at three sites in South Africa.

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