Companies developing novel TB treatments
August 7, 2012 -- Nature Medicine recently examined how several pharmaceutical companies are testing new drug candidates to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). Companies such as Janssen Research and Development and Otsuka Pharmaceutical have submitted new TB drug candidates to the US Food and Drug Administration and European regulatory authorities for review and approval, while firms like Sequella and Maxwell Biotech have drug candidates in the research pipeline.
According to the article, recent US legislative activity such as the reauthorization of the US Prescription Drug User Fee Act could also help spur TB drug development. The reauthorization includes a section, called the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now Act, which aims to spur development of antibiotics for drug-resistant bacteria, including TB. “The goal there is to try to put some more enticements on the table for companies to develop new antimicrobial drugs,” said Brad Tebbets, an infectious disease analyst at the research firm Global Data.
In related news, the diagnostics company Cepheid has reached an agreement with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the US Agency for International Development, UNITAID, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to reduce the price of its Xpert MTB/RIF kit for its GeneXpert TB rapid test diagnostic system in 145 countries. The agreement will reduce the price of the test kit cartridges from $16.86 per test to $9.98. According to Cepheid, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will make an initial payment of $3.5 million to make the test immediately available at the lower price.