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TRIC-TB starts clinical trial of anti-TB drug booster

If approved, BVL-GSK098 could allow doctors to reduce the efficacious dose of two potent drugs used to treat tuberculosis, along with the side effects they cause

Image by Jarun Ontakrai via Shutterstock
Image by Jarun Ontakrai via Shutterstock


The TRIC-TB project has started a clinical trial with BVL-GSK098, a drug that is designed to boost the infection-fighting ability of the tuberculosis (TB) drugs ethionamide (Eto) and prothionamide (Pto). Although Eto and Pto are potent weapons in the fight against TB, they can cause severe side effects. If approved for use, BVL-GSK098 could allow doctors to reduce the efficacious dose of Eto or Pto, and along with it the side effects they cause. Importantly, BVL-GSK098 has shown in preclinical studies to overcome pre-existing resistance to Eto and is active against multi-drug resistant (MDR)-TB.

Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) designation to BVL-GSK098 in a fixed combination with Eto, a move that incentivises clinical development with faster development times, by allowing for fast track and priority review designations, and offers 5 years of additional market exclusivity in the USA.

Now, BioVersys, the Swiss SME behind the drug, has announced the start of a Phase 1 clinical trial of BVL-GSK098 in collaboration with GSK. The trial, which involves healthy volunteers, aims to assess the safety and tolerability of BVL-GSK098 as well as its behaviour in the body.

‘More than 1.5 million people die every year from tuberculosis through a lack of efficacious treatments and access to medicines,’ said BioVersys CEO and co-founder Dr Marc Gitzinger. ‘At BioVersys we remain committed to developing innovative and life-saving treatments for patients suffering from drug-resistant infections, and the combination of BVL-GSK098 and Eto or Pto has the potential to improve patient outcomes, reduce treatment times, and even replace isoniazid in first-line TB therapy.’

‘GSK is committed to the discovery of novel treatments for tuberculosis including the drug-resistant forms of Mycobacterium tuberculosis,’ said Dr David Barros-Aguirre, VP and Head of Global Health Pharma Research Unit, Global Health Pharma R&D, GSK. ‘Entering clinical trials is an important milestone in our successful collaboration with BioVersys as we develop BVL-GSK098 within the IMI2 TRIC-TB programme, towards a potential treatment to optimise the beneficial effects of ethionamide.’

Read more

 BioVersys press release

TRIC-TB web page on the AMR Accelerator website

BVL-GSK098 web page on the website of the Working Group on New TB Drugs


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