The First Oral Antibiotic Designed to Treat Pulmonary Non-tuberculous Mycobacterium
Non-tuberculous Mycobacterium (NTM) is a growing global health concern and major unmet medical need because of the lack of new medications being developed to combat these bacteria.
It is estimated that approximately 130,000 patients suffer from NTM in the U.S. and Europe, a figure that is growing at a rate of 8% annually. The elderly and people with compromised immune or lung function are at greatest risk, as are patients with bronchiectasis for whom it is estimated that up to 50% may also have active NTM lung infection. Alarmingly, there are currently no approved agents approved for use in NTM.
The most common treatment for NTM is combination therapy with drugs traditionally used for tuberculosis (TB) which have limited efficacy and high toxicity. NTM is also associated with high healthcare costs and high mortality. In 2014, the annual cost in the U.S. alone was estimated at $1.7 billion.
Spero Therapeutics is currently developing a novel oral agent to treat NTM.