Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PA-824 - Aerosol: New Tool Against Tuberculosis?

We know the epidemic rates of HIV/TB coinfection as well as emerging multidrug-resistant  (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB strains those are contributing to increased TB-associated deaths worldwide. 

Now PA-824 (see structure), a compound capable of being formulated into a dry powder, has not only shown promising activity against MDR (multidrug-resistant tuberculosis) and XDR (extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, or latent TB) but has also proven safe and effective in patients coinfected with HIV and TB. Previous studies showed that PA-824 was well-tolerated in tablet form, however, side effects such as headache and stomach discomfort were reported. Aerosol delivery of PA-824 directly to the primary site of infection would limit systemic exposure and ultimately eliminate potentially bothersome side effects.

About  PA-824 :

Nitroimidazoles are widely used drugs in humans for a variety of primarily anaerobic microbial infections. Metronidazole, a 5-nitroimidazole, is an important bactericidal agent for the treatment of anaerobic infections  and shows excellent selective toxicity toward anaerobic bacterial and protozoal pathogens. This class of compounds has only recently begun to be explored for Mtb, because only anaerobic activity of metronidazole against Mtb has been reported. Bicyclic 4-nitroimidazoles such as PA-824 (a nitroimidazo-oxazine) and CGI-17341 (a nitroimidazo-oxazole) have inhibitory activity against aerobically growing and nonreplicating anaerobic Mtb. Although anaerobic conditions have not been demonstrated during TB disease in humans, various authors have suggested that an anaerobic microenvironment may contribute to a nonreplicating state that may be linked with latent disease in humans. Thus, PA-824 has been developed, in part, because it may be a promising lead for therapy against latent disease that may be linked to anaerobically persisting bacilli. The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development has recently initiated phase-I clinical trials with PA-824 

Researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts, lead by  Dr. Anthony J Hickey  have achieved this interesting finding, i.e., potential use of PA-824 dry powder aerosols in the treatment of TB.

In the study guinea pigs were used to evaluate the effects of PA-824 aerosols on TB infection. One month following infection with TB some guinea pigs received high daily aerosol treatments while others received low daily treatments for 4 weeks. Lung and spleen analysis of guinea pigs receiving the high dose of aerosol PA-284 showed less inflammation, bacterial burden and tissue damage.

"The present studies indicate the potential use of PA-824 dry powder aerosols in the treatment of TB,” say the researchers".
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