Australia chips in on TB drug development research

The Australian government awarded the TB Alliance, a nonprofit organization that partners with drugmakers to develop drugs against tuberculosis, more than $7.8 million to help in the fight against spread of a multidrug-resistant strain of the disease.

The extra funds were provided to help cover the cost of late-stage clinical trials of new treatments in development, the government noting the country lies in the Asia-Pacific region that claims more than half the world's TB cases.

The funds are for a three-year program for testing three oral drugs, moxifloxacin, pretomanid and pyrazinamide. The drugs' regimens are expected to be safer, shorter and simpler to follow, as well as 90% less expensive than current treatments for MDR-TB.

- here's the TB Alliance release