November 15, 2010
In a move it hopes will advance new and effective treatments, the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development has launched the first clinical trial to test several new TB drugs simultaneously. Current TB treatment uses a combination of drugs to prevent the development of resistance. Andreas Diacon, a professor at the University of Stellenbosch and the new study's principal investigator, said previous practice has been to test experimental drugs individually, then in combination, but that process can take decades. The new trial, NC001, will test several drugs at once, including two novel ones -- nitroimidazopyran PA-824, to which GATDD holds the rights, and Johnson & Johnson's diarylquinoline TMC07 -- plus Bayer's moxifloxacin, which is prescribed to treat respiratory ailments but has not been used for TB, and pyrazinamide, an established TB drug. If successful, the combination could be used to treat drug-susceptible as well as drug-resistant TB -- eliminating the need for pretreatment resistance testing. The trial will take place in Cape Town.