Stop TB Partnership

Prix Galien for innovative medicine awarded to SIRTURO® in Belgium


19 June 2015 - The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson received the 2015 Belgian Prix Galien for SIRTURO® (bedaquiline) in the Drug Award category, which recognizes the most innovative medicine launched in the past year. Belgian Minister for Health, Maggie De Block presented the award in Brussels this June.

SIRTURO® was developed by a French-Belgian team of Janssen researchers for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The award recognizes the advance this medicine brings in the MDR-TB space. Until recently, there had been little progress in the development of new TB treatments for several decades. Current MDR-TB treatment is lengthy, complex, costly and toxic, typically consisting of a two-year regimen with up to six second-line drugs and on average less than 50 percent treatment success globally.

To make strides in this complex landscape, Janssen has sought out strategic partnerships with global stakeholders who play a critical role in TB to ensure appropriate use of current and new treatment options, incentivize additional R&D and explore alternate business and advocacy models.

Recognizing the important contribution SIRTURO® can make to global health, it was recently added to the World Health Organisation List of Essential Medicines. Towards the end of 2014, it was added to the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility and Janssen is collaborating with the Stichting International Dispensary Association to help to facilitate access to SIRTURO® for MDR-TB patients in more than 130 low-and middle-income countries. And in December 2014 it was announced that SIRTURO® would be made available through a donation program in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development where Janssen is contributing an estimated 30,000 courses of treatment to patients in over 100 low-and middle-income countries over the next four years.

Since then, USAID has developed a mechanism for the distribution of the drug via the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility.