Doctors Without Borders (DWB) has responded favorably to the recent Tuberculosis Alliance (TB) announcement about the launch of its clinical trials for new investigational drugs for XDR-RB, currently the deadliest strain of drug-resistant TB.
Health professionals are urgently searching for better treatment options for TB, as people with access to treatments and the endurance to handle the excruciating side effects of the current two-year treatment regimen still have less than a 20 percent chance of survival.
“(DWB) welcomes the start of the Nix-TB clinical trial as a first step towards delivering more tolerable, effective and shorter treatments that our patients and doctors have long called for,” Bern-Thomas Nyang'wa, project manager and TB specialist with Doctors Without Borders' Manson Unit, said. “It’s true that the approval of new TB drugs is not sufficient progress in itself – the true impact of these new drugs won’t be realized until they are incorporated into treatment regimens that are proven effective and made accessible to people who need them. In the meantime, patients without other treatment options should be given access to new and promising drugs through early access programs.”
Experts estimate that XDR-TB affects approximately 50,000 people living in over 100 countries around the world.
“Optimal treatment regimens shouldn’t contain injectable drugs, shouldn’t cause deafness, psychosis or other debilitating side effects, and should offer patients real hope of being cured,” Nyang’wa said. “While these issues are most acute for XDR-TB patients, we hope that Nix-TB will be able to quickly expand to include MDR-TB patients, who are desperately in need of better treatment options as well.”