Better, quicker, cheaper new TB drug steals the headlines

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Better, quicker, cheaper new TB drug steals the headlines

UCT scientists are part of an international research group, which includes the Universities of Stellenbosch and the Free State, on track to deliver more effective, less expensive and shorter TB treatment using a new combination of drugs.

The announcement has dominated health news since the results of the TB Alliance’s clinical study were released to the media at the recent International AIDS Congress in Melbourne, Australia, from 20 to 25 July.

The study showed that a new three-drug combination, called PaMZ, killed TB bacteria twice as rapidly as standard TB treatment after two months of therapy.

“This could reduce the duration of standard TB treatment from the current six months to four,” said consultant pulmonologist and head of the Clinical Research Unit at the UCT Lung Institute Dr Rod Dawson.

“The breakthrough follows a two-month trial involving 200 TB patients from South Africa and Tanzania. Some received the standard treatment, others were given the new anti-TB drug PA-824 and moxifloxacin and pyrazinamide,” said Dawson, who is the International Principal Investigator on the study, which was conducted at the UCT Lung Institute.

Read more UCT: Today’s news, 12 August 2014

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