What is TB?
Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death by an infectious disease worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 10 million people became ill with tuberculosis in 2018, and 1.6 million died.
Until now, the development of new drugs has been slow and their incorporation into tuberculosis treatment regimens conducted in a sequential manner. TB treatment saved about 58 million lives globally between 2000 and 2018, but important diagnostic and treatment gaps persist. According to the WHO, the treatment success rate for people with TB was 85% in 2017. Even though the incidence of tuberculosis is declining, the drug-resistant form constitutes a growing threat to the safety of the world’s population.
Standard tuberculosis treatment is based on a combination regimen of four drugs that were all developed over 60 years ago. Treatment lasts for at least six months and, in the case of resistance to the standard drugs, can be as long as two years. The current drugs are inefficient by today’s standards and a new, faster-acting and safer treatment is required to reduce the length of therapy and to overcome the menace of drug-resistant strains.