A promising new drug candidate that may be effective against both actively dividing and slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) has begun testing in humans, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today. The novel antibiotic, PA-824, may shorten the time needed to treat tuberculosis (TB), a contagious disease that claims approximately two million lives worldwide each year. In partnership with the non-profit New York-based Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), NIAID contributed to the drug candidate’s preclinical safety and efficacy testing in animal models. Now, a clinical trial to assess PA-824’s safety, sponsored by the TB Alliance, has opened at a medical clinic in Lincoln, NE.
"The rapid movement of PA-824 through the development pipeline is a testament to the successful partnership between NIAID and the TB Alliance. It marks a significant milestone in progress toward our goal of making treatments for TB more effective and shorter in duration," notes NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
One-third of the global population--some two billion people--is infected with M. tb. A person may remain latently infected and harbor the bacteria, in a non-growing or slow-growing form, for decades with no symptoms. However, if the immune system is weakened by age, HIV or other infections, M. tb may be re-activated and the active form of the disease may emerge. Although most common in other countries where HIV prevalence is highest, approximately 14,000 cases of active TB are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year in the United States.
"Several characteristics of PA-824 that emerged during preclinical testing give us reason to be optimistic about its possible effectiveness against TB in humans," says Dr. Barbara Laughon, Ph.D., chief of the Complications and Co-infections Branch of NIAID’s Division of AIDS. In addition to activity against both actively dividing and slow-growing M. tb, PA-824 also shows evidence of being active against both drug-sensitive and multi-drug-resistant TB. Also, in animal testing, single doses of the compound administered orally traveled rapidly to such target organs as the lung and spleen. With support from both the TB Alliance and NIAID, Jacques Grosset, M.D., and William Bishai, M.D., Ph.D., of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, found PA-824 to have bacterial killing effects similar to frontline TB drugs isoniazid and rifampin in animal models of infection. Finally, PA-824’s apparent lack of interaction with certain liver enzymes means it may be safe for use by people co-infected by HIV and TB. Currently, such individuals may experience adverse effects when taking both rifampin (to treat TB) and antiretroviral drugs (to treat HIV).
"The announcement that a novel TB drug candidate has entered human trials is cause for celebration in the TB community. It underscores the value of public-private partnerships and the crucial role of NIAID’s TB drug development contract mechanism in preparing PA-824 for this stage," says Dr. Laughon.
Adds Maria C. Freire, Ph.D, president and chief executive officer of the TB Alliance, "We worked creatively and smartly with our partners, donors and contractors, combining our ability to move the technology forward with the expert management of RTI International and all of NIAID’s contributions. The result is that a promising TB compound moved into human trials in near-record time."
Anne A. Oplinger | EurekAlert!
Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood
23.02.2017 | American Chemical Society
New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer
23.02.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
23.02.2017 | Life Sciences