INDIAN, SOUTH AFRICAN FIRMS TO DEVELOP TB TREATMENTS
India-based pharmaceutical company Lupin and South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare have signed an agreement to develop, manufacture and market medications to combat new, more virulent strains of tuberculosis (TB) a major health concern in both countries. The joint venture will also involve exploration in the field of antimalarial drugs.
In India, Lupin has been a major marketer of regular-strength tuberculosis medications, while Aspen is known for the development of antiretrovirals and HIV/AIDS drugs throughout Africa. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
An estimated 8.6 million new cases of TB occur annually worldwide, with approximately 70 percent of those diagnosed and a far smaller percentage actually treated. In recent years, a multi-drug resistant strain of TB caused by bacteria resistant to Rifampicin currently the most readily prescribed treatment for the disease has emerged as a major health problem.
In India and Southeast Asia, TB is more deadly than any other infectious disease
including HIV/AIDS and malaria. In India alone, more than 450,000 people
die from TB each year, at a rate of approximately 1,000 per day.