A promising new treatment for extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB) that was tested in SA has been submitted to US regulators, taking its developers a step closer to providing patients with far better odds of defeating the disease. XDR-TB is a strain of the disease that is resistant to a wide range of antibiotics, and consequently difficult to treat. Although the outlook for patients in SA has improved with the recent introduction of Johnson & Johnson’s Bedaquiline, the cure rate is still only about 60%. The new treatment includes the novel chemical entity pretomanid, developed by the TB Alliance, with generic linezolid, and Bedaquiline. This “BPaL” regimen cures 89% of patients, according to the interim results of the Nix-TB trial, presented at the Union World Conference on Lung Health in 2018. “It is a watershed treatment,” the principal investigator of the Nix-TB trial, Francesca Conradie, told Business Day on Wednesday. The trial results have been submitted to a pee...

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