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New drug for treatment of resistant tuberculosis presented in Russia

A new drug for the treatment of resistant tuberculosis has been recently presented in Russia, according to recent statements of the press-service of the Russian Ministry of Health.

To date, the drug has successfully passed clinical testing, while its serious production will be started next year, reports The Pharma Letter’s local correspondent.

The new drug will be produced by Infectex,a portfolio company of Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund (MBVF) and one of Russia’s leading biotech companies. Russian registration for the drug has been started, and it is planned that the new substance will go on sale in 2018.

The effectiveness the drug as well as its good tolerability has already been confirmed by Sergei Borisov, deputy director for scientific and clinical work of the Moscow Scientific and Practical Center for Tuberculosis Control.

According to him, the new drug, dubbed as SQ109, is a small molecule that can fight mycobacterium tuberculosis, both susceptible to drugs and for those which are characterized by multiple drug resistance. In addition, SQ109 increases the effect of such anti-tuberculosis drugs as isoniazid, rifampicin and bedakvilin.

Analysts at the Russian Ministry of Health said that fundamentally new drugs against tuberculosis have not appeared in the global market for about 40 years. According to them, multiple drug resistance is observed in half of cases, while standard methods of treatment usually result in the development of resistance of patients. However, according to Infectex’ plans, SQ109 will be able to solve this problem. In addition, use of the new drug will allow a significant reduction in the time of therapy.

Infectex is developing a second potential TB drug Q203, which is licensed from Korean biotechnology company Qurient and is the first in new class of amide imidazopyridine compounds. Q203 has a unique mechanism of action againstM. tuberculosis.
In accordance with the recommendations of World Health Organization, currently patients with multiple drug resistance are treated with the "IV regimen of chemotherapy." This means that patients are given five drugs concurrently in the hope that one of them will work. In the report of the Russian Ministry of Health from 2016 said that of 16,000 patients, suffered from resistant, the conducted therapy helped to only 37%. At the same time, 12% of patients died as a result of the disease.


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