TB is claiming more lives than ever before. In the fight against this deadly disease, we are working with others in the global effort to find urgently needed new treatments.
Existing TB therapies are generally effective, but treatment regimes are long and complicated – which means that patients may give up taking the medicine once the symptoms are no longer apparent but before the infection is fully treated. This can lead to relapse and makes drug resistance more likely. Drug resistance is a significant challenge. In multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB, two of the most effective TB drugs are rendered useless. There are even more deadly resistant forms - extremely drug resistant (XDR) TB and more recently totally drug resistant (TDR) TB strains have been reported.
The need for new and improved therapies is urgent– but it is a significant research challenge. To make a real difference in the treatment of TB, a new medicine needs to act on drug-resistant strains, simplify the treatment regime and be compatible with HIV/AIDS therapies (TB and HIV/AIDS form a lethal combination, each speeding the other’s progress).
The most advanced of our new medicines, AZD5847, is being tested in Phase 2 clinical trials and is backed up with other programmes in earlier stages of R&D.
In this complex area of research, no single company can win the battle alone. We work in partnership with a range of organisations, making available our compound library and expertise and combining research skills and capabilities to help accelerate the development of new treatments.