By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
On Wednesday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pretomanid Tablets in combination with bedaquiline and linezolid for the treatment of a specific type of highly treatment-resistant tuberculosis (TB) of the lungs.
Pretomanid in combination with bedaquiline and linezolid is approved for treating a limited and specific population of adult patients with extensively drug resistant, treatment-intolerant or nonresponsive multidrug resistant pulmonary TB. Multidrug-resistant TB and extensively drug-resistant TB are difficult to treat due to resistance to available therapies. According to the World Health Organization, in 2016, there were an estimated 490,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant TB worldwide, with a smaller portion of cases of extensively drug-resistant TB.
“The threat of antimicrobial-resistant infections is a key challenge we face as a public health agency,” said FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D. “The bacterium that causes tuberculosis can develop resistance to the antibiotics used to treat it. Multidrug-resistant TB and extensively drug-resistant TB are public health threats due to limited treatment options. New treatments are important to meet national and global patient health needs. That’s why, among our other efforts to address antimicrobial resistance, we’re focused on facilitating the development of safe and effective new treatments to give patients more options to fight life-threatening infections. This approval also marks the second time a drug is being 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. We hope we continue to see more development of antibacterial drugs for treating serious or life-threatening infections in limited populations of patients with unmet medical needs.”
The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) applauded the approval but stressed that the drug must be made affordable to everyone who needs it, especially considering the substantial taxpayer and philanthropic contributions that went into its development.
“This newly approved regimen containing pretomanid could be a lifesaver for people with XDR-TB, but it’s not time to celebrate yet,” said Sharonann Lynch, HIV and TB policy advisor for MSF’s Access Campaign. “The approval of this new regimen by the US FDA is just the first step. We now need pretomanid to be registered and available at an affordable price in all countries, prioritizing those with the highest TB burden.”
Pretomanid is the second drug to be approved under the Limited Population Pathway for Antibacterial and Antifungal Drugs, or LPAD pathway, established by Congress under the 21st Century Cures Act to advance development and approval of antibacterial and antifungal drugs to treat serious or life-threatening infections in a limited population of patients with unmet need.
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