Trials of a new drug combination to treat tuberculosis could cut the length of time patients have to take their medicine by a third.
Researchers at St George’s, University of London, hope that speeding up the treatment will help to reduce the 20 million cases of the disease that exist globally – many caused by patients abandoning their medication halfway through because of the long trek to a treatment centre or at the first signs it is working.
In the four-year trial, a high dose of antibiotic drug rifapentine and a broad-spectrum antibiotic, called moxifloxacin, will be given once a week to patients with pulmonary TB in Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Both rifapentine and moxifloxacin are already used in the treatment of TB, though not in combination. It is hoped that RIFAQUIN, as the new combination is called, will cut the treatment time from six to four months.
Dr. Stanley Mungofa, the Head of the Harare City Health Department, Harare, Zimbabwe, and an investigator in the RIFAQUIN trial, said: “TB treatment just like treatment for chronic diseases tends to be difficult for both the patient and the health system given the fact that when patients feel better they confuse better for cure and abandon their treatment.
“If treatment becomes shorter there is a better chance of them finishing their medication and being cured.”
The trial will start in July 2007and is being carried out by INTERTB, an international consortium of scientists coordinated by Dr Amina Jindani at St George’s, University of London. Professor Denis Mitchison, who successfully pioneered the reduction of treatment from 18 to six months, and Dr Tom Harrison are also on the St George’s INTERTB team.
Dr Jindani said: ‘The development of a new anti-tuberculosis drug could take 15 years and the cost estimated by the Stop TB partnership is almost 5 billion US dollars. By testing a new combination of drugs we already use we can cut that development time by 10 years at a far lower cost.’
The trial has already attracted grants of €4,281,991 (£2.855million) from the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and a further £200,000 from the Wellcome Trust.
INTERTB is organising a one-day meeting to discuss the contribution of UK researchers to reduce TB treatment duration. The meeting will be held at St. George’s, University of London, on Thursday 22nd March, 2007 and will be attended by researchers in the United Kingdom as well as donor agencies, NGOs and members of the All Party Parliamentary Working Group on TB.
Tamsin Starr | alfa
New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia
New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.08.2017 | Life Sciences
21.08.2017 | Information Technology
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences