New TB fighting theory combines injections and antibiotics

Pharmaceutical giant Archivel Farma has announced that it is considering a new theory about tuberculosis and is taking steps to combat the disease, which has caused two million deaths in the past year.

A news release from Archivel Farma states that new research is challenging the current view of TB - that it is dormant within people. A professor and the head of the Experimental Tuberculosis Unit of the Research Institut Germans Trias i Pujol says that the theory does not explain why a dormant infection is only eliminated after nine months of antibiotic TB treatment. According to the release, the professor believes that TB is, after hundreds and thousands of years of evolution, now reinfecting a patient in two different forms.

Because there is more tuberculosis today than at any other time in history - there have been nine million infections within the past year along with two million deaths - new efforts must be considered to attack it.

Archivel Farma says that company researchers are attempting to treat TB with a month-long antibiotic regimen to tackle TB's replicating form combined with two injections of the company's new vaccine, RUTI, meant to tackle TB's non-replicating form.

“TB is either tackled by drug companies or by vaccine companies," Luis Ruiz-Avila, Archivel’s CEO, said. "We are the only company that is using both to cut the treatment time down from nine months to just one. This provides a tremendous opportunity to tackle the very serious problem of TB as, for the first time, there is now a cost effective means to tackling the reservoir of TB that is present in one third of the world’s population.

"A long and expensive nine month treatment is always going to have problems, especially in poorer countries where it is mainly prevalent and where the chances of reinfection are very high. Our new regime of a short course of tablets and two injections will be much easier for people to understand and comply with so the problems of not completing the nine month course and resulting drug resistance are eliminated and reinfection can be reduced due to the immunity provided by the vaccine.”

A Phase I trial has already been successfully completed. A Phase II trial will begin shortly in South Africa. It will include patients with HIV who, because of their weakened immune systems, are highly susceptible to developing TB.