Existing drugs can – and should – be repurposed to fight neglected diseases.
Santiago Ramón-García |
Although entering a new era of innovative and personalized medicine in industrialized countries, we still rely on drugs developed more than 50 years ago to treat neglected diseases such as tuberculosis (TB). Since then, only two new drugs, Sirturo (bedaquiline) and Deltyba (delamanid), have been approved for treating TB. Because they are not known to be more effective than traditional frontline TB antibiotics, they are only used to treat multidrug or extensively drug resistant cases, which sometimes are incurable. In recent years, governments and pharmaceutical companies are recognizing an urgent need to improve current TB treatments. In addition to the well-recognized challenges of drug development, TB antibiotic development is particularly limited for a number of reasons, including:
- The causative agent of TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is intrinsically resistant to most available antibiotics.
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