Pain drug 'effective against TB'

11 September 2012

A drug used to treat pain could be effective when it comes to treating resistant tuberculosis, it has been announced.

Research published in the journal PNAS revealed that a cheap off-patent anti-inflammatory drug could kill both replicating and non-replicating drug resistant tuberculosis in the laboratory.

This is an achievement that few currently approved drugs tackling TB can reach. Furthermore, resistance to already-established drugs is spreading.

Weill Cornell's Dr Carl Nathan said: "This agent might help save lives if there was a way to test it in TB patients."

However, researchers have voiced concerns that the effective drug, called oxyphenbutazone, may never be tested in clinical trials for TB.

"No drug firm will pay for clinical trials if they don't expect to make a profit on the agent. And that would be the case for an off-patent drug that people can buy over the counter for pain in most of the world," explained Dr Nathan.

Posted by Edward Bartel


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