U.S. regulators have approved a new tuberculosis medicine that shortens and improves treatment for the hardest-to-treat cases, a worsening problem in many poor countries.
It’s the first TB drug developed by a nonprofit group, the TB Alliance, which was formed to come up with better treatments.
The Food and Drug Administration approved pretomanid for use with two other drugs for TB, which attacks the lungs. In testing, the three-pill combo cured about 90% of patients with very drug-resistant TB, usually within 6 months. It also appears to stop patients spreading the deadly bacterial infection after just a few days’ treatment.
Until now, the best option cured about two-thirds of patients and took 18 to 30 months, according to the TB Alliance.