Tuberculosis is the leading infectious killer in the world, far above AIDS. It kills about 1.6 million of the 10 million it affects every year. About 30,000 patients worldwide now have XDR tuberculosis (that fails to respond to any of the four antibiotic categories in use at present).
On August 14, 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pretomanid, the latest of three drugs used in the new BPaL regimen that cured up to 90% of XDR tuberculosis with 5 pills a day, within just 6 months, in the Nix-TB trial in South Africa. This gives hope to “hopeless” tuberculosis patients. Meanwhile, a new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine on August 15, 2019 also throws new light on the immense and growing significance of nonprofit organizations in the development of new antibiotics to treat resistant infections.