In 2017, an estimated 558 000 new cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) were diagnosed; most of these (82 %) were multidrug-resistant (MDR), meaning they are resistant to at least two of the most effective, front line antibiotics used to treat TB. MDR-TB is extremely difficult to treat; a full course of antibiotics can last up to two years, and trigger unpleasant side effects. Moreover, the drugs used are expensive, and are not always available. The goal of RespiriTB is to advance the development of new drug candidates that could be part of a new, more effective, shorter regimen to treat MDR-TB. The team is particularly interested in compounds that interfere with the TB bacterial energy metabolism. The project will carry out a range of studies on the drug candidates selected, including initial clinical studies in humans. Ultimately, the project hopes to contribute to the development of a new, more efficient combination drug regimen for MDR-TB, with a shorter treatment duration and a lower risk of further drug resistance.
RespiriTB is part of the IMI AMR Accelerator Programme.