Indian pharmaceuticals manufacturer Lupin Ltd said it received a non-exclusive license to manufacture the anti-TB drug pretomanid from non-profit drug developer, TB Alliance.
The company said it plans to sell the drug in 140 countries and territories, including many of the highest TB burden countries around the world.
Pretomanid will be administered as part of the “BPaL” regimen to counter drug resistant TB, said the Indian firm.
TB Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding faster-acting and affordable drug regimens to fight TB.
Mel Spigelman, President and CEO of TB Alliance, said the partnering with Lupin, the largest supplier of first-line anti-TB drugs in the world, will help further enable widespread access to the group’s novel regimen while promoting a competitive market to drive affordability.
TB, which results in the destruction of the human lung tissues, is treated with a combination of drugs; with the most drug-sensitive forms of TB typically treated for six months using four anti-TB drugs.
An estimated 1.5 million people die of TB every year, although the precise numbers are not known. Recent research suggests that TB could have killed as many as 2 mn last year.
Drug-resistant TB develops when the long, complex, decades-old TB drug regimen is improperly administered, or when people with TB stop taking their medicines before the disease has been fully eradicated from their body—highlighting the urgent need to develop better and shorter treatment regimens.
Once a drug-resistant strain has developed, it can be transmitted directly to others through the air, just like drug-sensitive TB. There are over half a million cases of drug-resistant TB each year and its spread undermines efforts to control the TB pandemic.
Lupin is one of the largest manufacturers of generic drugs in the world.
It is especially strong in cardiovascular, anti-diabetic and respiratory segments and has significant presence in the anti-infective, gastro-intestinal (GI), central nervous system (CNS) and women’s health areas. It is also the third largest pharmaceutical company in the U.S. by prescriptions.