Berlin, August 15, 2011 - Bayer HealthCare has agreed to support the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Stop TB Partnership in the fight against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) by making 620,000 tablets of the antibiotic moxifloxacin available to the Global Drug Facility, which will provide the antibiotics to China's national TB programme.
"We have decided to make moxifloxacin available to provide quick support to those patients in need", said Dr. J�rg Reinhardt, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer HealthCare. "We were happy to follow the request from WHO because we believe that this is the right step to address an increasing medical need in patients affected with this serious disease and for whom there are only very limited oral treatment options available."
"We are grateful to Bayer for making moxifloxacin available for use in China. This medicine will ease the suffering of people with drug-resistant TB and contribute to preventing many deaths," said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership.
Moxifloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic indicated for treatment of several acute bacterial infections, such as respiratory tract infections. Bayer HealthCare must emphasize that currently moxifloxacin does not have approval for the treatment of TB, including multidrug resistant tuberculosis. However, WHO has included moxifloxacin in treatment group 3 of its guidelines as part of a second-line TB regimen in patients with confirmed MDR-TB on the grounds of its demonstrated activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Through the cooperation with the WHO/Stop TB Partnership moxifloxacin will be administered in China in a highly controlled manner, with close monitoring by the Green Light Committee.
Together with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, Bayer�s pharmaceutical division is working on the development of moxifloxacin as a treatment for drug-susceptible pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). It is the aim of ongoing studies to show that use of moxifloxacin could reduce the length of treatment for drug-susceptible TB from six to four months. Bayer HealthCare intends to apply for the approval of moxifloxacin for the treatment of pulmonary TB as soon as clinical trials have been completed.