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Hopkins scientist to direct international studies of antibiotic as new treatment for tuberculosis

A Johns Hopkins infectious disease expert will lead two international studies of the effectiveness of the antibiotic moxifloxacin as a new treatment for tuberculosis, the highly contagious bacterial disease that kills more than 2 million people worldwide each year and is the leading cause of death of people living with HIV and AIDS. Moxifloxacin is currently approved in more than 100 countries, including the United States, as a treatment for bacterial respiratory infections, such as bronchitis, sinusitis and pneumonia.

"Defeating the spread of tuberculosis in the United States and the developing world will require scientists to take bold and creative new approaches because there has not been a new therapy for tuberculosis in more than 40 years," says tuberculosis expert Richard Chaisson, M.D., a professor of medicine, epidemiology and international health at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Chaisson will conduct the research as part of a series of studies on moxifloxacin that are being coordinated by the nonprofit Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (GATB) in collaboration with Bayer Healthcare AG, the drug's maker. His research will assess the ability of moxifloxacin to shorten the treatment period required to cure the disease.

One of Chaisson's studies will take place in Brazil, with support from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Orphan Product Development. He will co-direct the second study with Susan Dorman, M.D., an assistant professor at Hopkins, and John Johnson, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University. The study will take place in five countries - the United States, Canada, Brazil, Spain, South Africa and Uganda - with funding support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's TB Trials Consortium. (Maryland is one of the 10 U.S. states where the second study will take place.)

The overall research program, expected to last two to three years and enroll close to 2,5
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Contact: David March
dmarch1@jhmi.edu
410-955-1534
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
17-Oct-2005


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