As the rest of the world focuses on finding treatments for increasingly drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, India awaits the outcome of a trial on what would be its first new drug for the disease in 40 years, according to news reports.
Because of its large population of TB patients with the multidrug-resistant (MDR) form, India has a large number of potential clinical trial subjects as well as the greatest need for a cure. Thousands more also have been diagnosed with the "extensively drug-resistant" (XDR) form of TB with authorities now estimating 3,000 XDR sufferers and 65,000 MDR sufferers.
Those selected for the major trial in Mumbai are being tested with Belgian drugmaker Janssen Pharmaceuticals' Sirturo (bedaquiline), which is being tested globally as what the World Health Organization has deemed an "essential TB drug," according to a report in the Mumbai Mirror. The Mumbai trial aims to test the drug in combination with other treatments.
Elsewhere, researchers are also working on combination treatments to determine the source of hidden TB infections to discern how viruses manage to live within the lung.
Researchers at Scripps Florida have relied on India's drug-resistant patients to test various compound combinations to use in treating both major strains, solutions beyond the beyond the current laboratory standard, the H37Rv strain.