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TB Alliance and Bayer launch historic global drug trials for tuberculosis

n of a healthcare provider. Preclinical studies in vivo** showed moxifloxacin reduced treatment time by two months when substituted for isoniazid, a cornerstone drug of TB treatment .*** Moxifloxacin is approved in 104 countries to treat certain bacterial respiratory and skin infections.

"Moxifloxacin has been safely and reliably used to treat millions of patients with a variety of bacterial respiratory tract infections," said Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, head of the pharmaceuticals division of Bayer HealthCare. "Bayer is committed to working with the TB Alliance to develop a shorter TB therapy and we are proud to make a tangible contribution and to participate in the movement to achieve the Millennium Development Goal to reverse tuberculosis as a major global health pandemic by 2015."

Mycobacterium tuberculosis infects one-third of the world's population, resulting in nine million new cases of active TB and two million deaths each year. Public health experts note that a shorter TB regimen would help ease the economic burden, estimated at $16 billion a year, and enable healthcare workers to treat more patients. A shorter protocol could also reduce side effects, improve patient adherence to therapy, and save lives. When patients complete treatment successfully, there is a lower chance of relapse and the emergence of drug resistance.

"This is an important step toward developing a new generation of TB treatments. We urgently need to improve upon current TB drugs, which were developed more than 40 years ago," said Dr. Helene Gayle, Director, HIV, TB and Reproductive Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "By innovating with an existing product, Bayer and the TB Alliance could make an improved TB treatment available much faster than would otherwise be possible."

Two clinical trials are being conducted by the Tuberculosis Trials Consortium (TBTC) of the CDC, represented by Steering Committee Chair Dr. Neil Schluger of Columbia Universit
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17-Oct-2005


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