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Nature. 2011 Jan 27;469(7331):483-90. doi: 10.1038/nature09657.

The challenge of new drug discovery for tuberculosis.

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Department of Antimicrobial Research, Janssen Research and Development, Johnson & Johnson, Turnhoutseweg 30, B-2340 Beerse, Belgium.


Tuberculosis (TB) is more prevalent in the world today than at any other time in human history. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen responsible for TB, uses diverse strategies to survive in a variety of host lesions and to evade immune surveillance. A key question is how robust are our approaches to discovering new TB drugs, and what measures could be taken to reduce the long and protracted clinical development of new drugs. The emergence of multi-drug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis makes the discovery of new molecular scaffolds a priority, and the current situation even necessitates the re-engineering and repositioning of some old drug families to achieve effective control. Whatever the strategy used, success will depend largely on our proper understanding of the complex interactions between the pathogen and its human host. In this review, we discuss innovations in TB drug discovery and evolving strategies to bring newer agents more quickly to patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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