TB drug PaMZ against multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB)

Q.  Which of the following is/are true?

1) A new drug has been developed by India against multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis.
2) It will reduce treatment time by one third and cost by one tenth.

- Published on 29 Feb 16

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: Both 1 and 2
  • The Drug Controller General of India — the referee for drug trials in the country — approved a phase 2b trial (a limited test of a prospective drug in humans to prove its potency) to test a combination of three TB drugs to treat multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
  • The promise of this combination — called PaMZ (PA-824 + moxifloxacin + pyrazinamide) — is to cut treatment time by at least a third and cost by a tenth. Moreover, it was purportedly effective even when tested on HIV patients.
  • The drug is developed in collaboration with the international Global Alliance on Tuberculosis by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • It is waiting for funding for trials.
  • Apart from the health benefits, the drug trial would have been the first such attempt by the CSIR-led Open Source Drug Development (OSDD) consortium — an initiative to discover and test new drugs for infectious diseases that are widespread in poor countries by using expertise outside the confines of traditional pharmaceutical companies — to test a new drug in India.

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