November 1, 2006

Eli Lilly has sent 3,000 vials of the antibiotic Capreomycin to South Africa's Department of Health, report South African news sources.

Capreomycin has not yet been approved by the country's Medicines Control Council, so it will be imported under special exemption measures, according to an article in the Johannesburg-based Business Day. It has never been administered in the country, so it could be effective against various strains of extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB).

Capreomycin was formerly used for the treatment of tuberculosis before being replaced by first-line TB drugs, but it is now being phased in again to treat XDR-TB, reports BuaNews.

Lilly in 2004 entered into a technology transfer and licensing agreement with local firm Aspen Pharmacare for the manufacture of two of its TB drugs, including Capreomycin, according to Business Day.

Both news sources report that Aspen is constructing a new manufacturing facility to locally produce Capreomycin and has applied for registration with the Medicines Control Council, but in the meantime Lilly said it would supply an additional 6,500 vials of the drug if needed.