TMC207 becomes bedaquiline, a new anti-TB drug

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TB still represents a serious public health problem. The latest reports estimate an incidence of 8.7 million cases in 2011 and 1.4 million deaths. Drug resistance contributed an estimated 630,000 cases of multidrug-resistant TB, making control of the disease harder. Recent reports show cases of TB that were almost resistant to all available antibiotics. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new anti-TB drugs with the potential of reducing the current length of treatment. Bedaquiline, formerly TMC207, is a new diarylquinoline antibiotic with specific activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and several nontuberculous mycobacteria. It acts by inhibiting ATP synthase, interfering with the energy generation needed by the bacterial cell. Based on clinical evaluations for safety, tolerability and efficacy, bedaquiline has recently received accelerated approval for the treatment of pulmonary multidrug-resistant TB in adults. This article will review the main aspects related to the chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, efficacy and tolerability of bedaquiline.

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