Japan's Otsuka announces new plan for delamanid to help curb TB

The German unit of Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceutical said it will participate in the Stop TB Partnership to make the recently approved drug delamanid available to more than 100 low and middle income countries to help cut rates of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

The company said the drug was recently approved in Europe, Japan and South Korea and their new partnership includes services and assistance to help the countries beef up their treatment programs.

Otsuka Novel Products, the German unit, said in a release, that any country eligible for TB financing from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and follows World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines can apply to Stop TB's Global Drug Facility (GDF) to participate in the program.

"This agreement with the Stop TB Partnership is only the first step in assuring wider, equitable access to delamanid," Masuhiro Yoshitake, managing director of Otsuka and TB global project leader, said in the release. "Otsuka is committed to working with all stakeholders in the TB community to scale-up delamanid use in a rational way that supports larger efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance."

Otsuka and Stop TB said their plan includes programs for education, training, technical assistance, and "TB advocacy activities."

The new partnership, Otsuka said, is a component of Otsuka's "FighTBack Initiative" to provide "innovative research and development, collaborative capacity building, responsible access to patients and optimised patient management."

Delamanid has been approved in the European Union, Japan and South Korea and has been submitted for approval in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines and Turkey.

- here's the release

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