Mycobacteria are important human pathogens, including those causing tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy, and the opportunistic non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) reponsible for severe pulmonary diseases. NTM infections are rising in developed countries (> 150,000/year), due to comorbidity in patients with COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF), bronchioectasis, HIV, and affecting particularly people with immunodeficiencies and the elderly.
NTM are resistant to many antibiotics, thus infections are extremely difficult and expensive to treat. Similar to TB, treatment of NTM infections require multiple drugs for a long time (months to years), but success rates are lower and recurrence rates higher than for tuberculosis. There are no NTM specific antibiotics available, and the current multidrug regimens are often associated with poor tolerance and high toxicity.
Clearly, there is an urgent need for innovation in this therapeutic space. New drugs and new mechanisms of action are required, for safer and more effective management of NTM infections.
Tabrix’s compounds have shown efficacy in reducing infections by M. avium, one of the main NTM pathogens, thus offering hope for future treatments of pulmonary diseases caused by this pathogen.