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Treatment combating multi-drug resistant TB posts positive results

Published on 27/03/17 at 10:49am

Infectex, a Russian portfolio company of Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund, announced that it had found positive results from its latest Phase 2b-3 clinical trial of its drug for multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis. The compound was developed by US-based Sequella, a biotech focusing on developing novel treatments, and works by boosting existing therapies.

The news was announced on World Tuberculosis Day, and is a potential step on the pathway to improving treatment of TB. It works by boosting drugs, such isoniaside, rifampicine and bedaquiline, and in trials was found to improve the percentage of patients who experienced cessation of Mycobacteria excretion from 61%, during standard treatment plus placebo, to 80% of those treated with the compound, SQ109.

The treatment was also shown to have benefits in patients who had drug-susceptible TB and displayed, in mice studies, the ability to shorten the required treatment time. The drug, if approved on the back of the data, will be able to replace one or more of current TB drugs.

“Now our goal is to bring the product to patients as soon as possible to increase the effectiveness of treatment and save thousands of lives of patients with tuberculosis not only in Russia, but also throughout the world”, said Dmitry Popov, Managing Partner of MBVF.

Any improvement to current TB treatments would be a massive boost in the fight against TB, which has serious impacts in particular countries and regions. For example, in Asia, where India had an estimated 2,840,000 TB cases in 2015 and where China had 918,000 cases. Of course, this is related to population size but it shows the scale of the problem. SQ109 could be an additional tool in the armoury to fight against the problem.

Ben Hargreaves

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