1. Interim outcomes of delamanid for the treatment of MDR- and XDR-TB in South Korea.

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2018 Feb 1;73(2):503-508. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkx373.

Mok J(1), Kang H(2), Hwang SH(2), Park JS(2), Kang B(3), Lee T(4), Koh WJ(5), Yim JJ(6), Jeon D(7).

OBJECTIVES: Delamanid is a new anti-TB drug, but few data exist on its use outside clinical trials. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy as well as the safety and tolerability of a delamanid-containing regimen for 24 weeks in the treatment of MDR- and XDR-TB.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study among patients with MDR/XDR-TB who were treated with a delamanid-containing regimen in seven hospitals in South Korea.

RESULTS: A total of 32 patients with MDR-TB, of which 6 (18.8%) were XDR-TB, were included and all completed 24 weeks of delamanid treatment. Of 19 patients (59.4%) who had positive culture sputum at the initiation of delamanid treatment, the proportion of culture conversion at 8 weeks was 72.2% (13 of 18) in solid medium and 50.0% (7 of 14) in liquid medium. The proportion of culture conversion at 24 weeks was 94.4% (17 of 18) in solid medium and 92.9% (13 of 14) in liquid medium. The median time to culture conversion was 33 days (range = 5-81) using solid medium and 57 days (range = 8-96) using liquid medium. Of the 32 patients, there was no serious adverse event or death. Three patients developed a transient QTcF of > 500 ms.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of delamanid combined with optimized background regimens has the potential to achieve high culture conversion rates at 24 weeks with an acceptable safety and tolerability profile in patients with MDR/XDR-TB.

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2. Incremental Cost Effectiveness of Bedaquiline for the Treatment of Rifampicin-Resistant Tuberculosis in South Africa: Model-Based Analysis.

Appl Health Econ Health Policy. 2018 Feb;16(1):43-54. doi: 10.1007/s40258-017-0352-8.

Schnippel K(1), Firnhaber C(2)(3), Conradie F(2), Ndjeka N(4), Sinanovic E(5).

BACKGROUND: Nearly 20,000 people were diagnosed with multi-drug and rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (MDR/RR-TB) in South Africa in 2015, yet only one-half of the patients who start treatment are expected to have a successful outcome. There is increasing evidence of the effectiveness and safety of new drug regimens containing bedaquiline for MDR/RR-TB; however, whether they are affordable for high-burden, limited-resource settings is uncertain.

OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to determine the incremental cost effectiveness of a bedaquiline-based regimen for MDR/RR-TB treatment in South Africa compared with the standard kanamycin-based regimen.

METHODS: We established a Markov model for ambulatory treatment of MDR/RR-TB in a high-HIV prevalence setting, parameterized using clinical outcomes from the South African National TB Programme (SA NTP) before (2012-2014) and after (2015-2016) bedaquiline roll-out. The effectiveness of treatment was evaluated in disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). Ingredient costs from the provider’s perspective were collected in 2016 South African Rand and converted to $US, including bedaquiline at $US675.23 per 6-month treatment course. Culture conversion rates were derived from the phase IIb trial of bedaquiline, and disability adjustments were adapted from published literature. Costs and effectiveness were discounted at 3%.

RESULTS: For non-bedaquiline regimens, the total expected cost over the 10-year time horizon for a patient with MDR/RR-TB was $US4439 with disability-adjusted survival of 5.1 years. Replacing capreomycin with bedaquiline in patients who failed MDR/RR-TB treatment and required treatment for extensively drug-resistant (XDR-TB) resulted in cost savings ($US4356; 1.8% less) and similar effectiveness (0.02 DALYs averted). As a result, the standard regimen (no bedaquiline) was dominated. Replacing kanamycin with bedaquiline to provide all patients with MDR/RR-TB access to bedaquiline cost $US4647 (4.3% more) and averted 0.17 DALYs compared with the no bedaquiline regimen. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $US1242/DALY averted.

CONCLUSION: Markov modelling indicates providing bedaquiline for all patients with MDR/RR-TB could increase the 24-month treatment success rate in South Africa from 56.3% using the current regimen to 60.6%, at a cost $US2.6 million over a 10-year horizon, less than 1% of the estimated $US425 million SA NTP annual budget.

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3. The Expanding Diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Drug Targets.

ACS Infect Dis. 2018 Feb 15. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.7b00255. [Epub ahead of print]

Wellington S(1)(2)(3), Hung DT(1)(2)(3).

ABSTRACT: After decades of relative inactivity, a large increase in efforts to discover

antitubercular therapeutics has brought insights into the biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and promising new drugs such as bedaquiline, which inhibits ATP synthase, and the nitroimidazoles delamanid and pretomanid, which inhibit both mycolic acid synthesis and energy production. Despite these advances, the drug discovery pipeline remains underpopulated. The field desperately needs compounds with novel mechanisms of action capable of inhibiting multi- and extensively drug -resistant Mtb (M/XDR-TB) and, potentially, non-replicating Mtb with the hope of shortening the duration of required therapy. New knowledge about Mtb, along with new methods and technologies, has driven exploration into novel target areas, such as energy production and central metabolism, that diverge from the classical targets in macromolecular synthesis. Here, we review new small molecule drug candidates that act on these novel targets to highlight the methods and perspectives advancing the field. These new targets bring with them the aspiration of shortening treatment duration as well as a pipeline of effective regimens against XDR-TB, positioning Mtb drug discovery to become a model for anti-infective discovery.

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4. Early safety and efficacy of the combination of bedaquiline and delamanid for the treatment of patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis in Armenia, India, and South Africa: a retrospective cohort study.

Lancet Infect Dis. 2018 Feb 13. pii: S1473-3099(18)30100-2. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30100-2. [Epub ahead of print]

Ferlazzo G(1), Mohr E(2), Laxmeshwar C(3), Hewison C(4), Hughes J(2), Jonckheere S(3), Khachatryan N(5), De Avezedo V(6), Egazaryan L(7), Shroufi A(2), Kalon S(3), Cox H(8), Furin J(9), Isaakidis P(10).

BACKGROUND: Bedaquiline and delamanid have been approved for treatment of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis in the past 5 years. Because of theoretical safety concerns, patients have been unable to access the two drugs in combination. Médecins Sans Frontières has supported the use of combination bedaquiline and delamanid for people with few treatment options since 2016. We describe early safety and efficacy of regimens containing the bedaquiline and delamanid combination in patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis in Yerevan, Armenia; Mumbai, India; and Khayelitsha, South Africa.

METHODS: We retrospectively analysed a cohort of all patients who received 6-12 months of oral bedaquiline and delamanid in combination (400 mg bedaquiline once per day for 2 weeks, then 200 mg bedaquiline three times per week and 100 mg delamanid twice per day) in MSF-supported projects. We report serious adverse events, QTc corrected using the Fridericia formula (QTcF) interval data, and culture conversion data during the first 6 months of treatment.

FINDINGS: Between Jan 1, 2016, and Aug 31, 2016, 28 patients (median age 32·5 years [IQR 28·5-40·5], 17 men) were included in the analysis. 11 (39%) of 28 patients were HIV-positive. 24 patients (86%) had isolates resistant to fluoroquinolones; 14 patients (50%) had extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. No patient had an increase of more than 500 ms in their QTcF interval. Four patients (14%) had six instances of QTcF increase of more than 60 ms from baseline but none permanently discontinued the drugs. 16 serious adverse events were reported in seven patients. Of 23 individuals with positive baseline cultures, 17 (74%) converted to negative by month 6 of treatment.

INTERPRETATION: Use of the bedaquiline and delamanid combination appears to reveal no additive or synergistic QTcF-prolonging effects. Access to bedaquiline and delamanid in combination should be expanded for people with few treatment options while awaiting the results of formal clinical trials.

FUNDING: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

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