December 31, 2012 / 2:20 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. approves drug-resistant tuberculosis treatment from J&J

Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators have approved a new Johnson & Johnson drug for patients with tuberculosis who do not respond to other treatments, the company said.

The drug is the first in 40 years to tackle the disease using a new mechanism of action, according to J&J. The drug blocks an energy-producing enzyme that tuberculosis bacteria need to survive.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug, chemically known as bedaquiline and called Sirturo, on Monday following a positive review by an advisory panel last month.

The advisers found the drug to be effective, though they noted that more deaths were seen in the group of patients who took bedaquiline in combination with standard treatments than in the group that took standard drugs alone.

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