endTB uses the first TB drugs developed in almost 50 years, bedaquiline and delamanid, to help improve treatment outcomes for MDR-TB in 18 countries.
Tackling drug-resistant TB
TB has overtaken HIV as the deadliest infectious disease worldwide — and the world is losing ground to MDR-TB: strains of the disease for which first-choice drugs are not effective.
Treatments for MDR-TB are long, ineffective, and often cause terrible side effects, including acute psychosis and permanent deafness.
Treatment outcomes are poor. Of the 500,000 estimated patients eligible for MDR-TB treatments in 2020, only a 30% ever received appropriate treatment. In 2018, only 59% of those treated had successful outcomes.
In the absence of successful treatment, MDR-TB is transmitted among families and communities, and is often fatal.
Exposing demand, expanding markets
endTB aims to expand access to new TB drugs. This means exposing the demand for these drugs.
While bedaquiline and delamanid have been developed recently, their respective manufacturers are focused on bringing these single drugs to market; they do not have an incentive to support the development of treatment regimens (combinations of drugs, which is essential for TB) that include these drugs. Without efforts like endTB, research into new regimens may never happen.
Because we lack the evidence on the optimal use of these new drugs, we also don’t know the scale of the market demand for them, and how many patients worldwide could benefit from them. Expert opinion, however, indicates that these drugs could be a game changer for large numbers of patients.
endTB's five goals
Using these new drugs, endTB aims to:
- Expand their use in 17 countries (above 2600 patients), and study the results
- Run a 7-country clinical trial (750 patients) to find simpler, less toxic, shorter ways to treat MDR-TB
- Reduce the barriers to making those drugs available in all 17 endTB countries
- Share our findings, and improve treatments everywhere
- Run a 6-country clinical trial (324 patients) to find simpler, less toxic, shorter regimens to treat fluoroquinolone-resistant MDR-TB with no injectables