Otsuka has been involved in efforts to find new tuberculosis (TB) drugs for over 40 years. Working in collaboration with other Otsuka Group companies, Otsuka Novel Products GmbH (ONPG) focuses mainly on developing the company’s global TB franchise, which includes new drugs, diagnostic tools, pediatric innovations, as well as public health programs that provide a comprehensive approach to fighting back against TB.
TB is considered one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases.
In 2014, 9.6 million people became sick, and 1.5 million people died from TB or TB-related causes.1
TB is airborne and highly contagious; a person must only breathe in the bacteria to become infected.2
One-third of the world’s population is estimated to be infected with the bacteria that cause TB. However, only a fraction of the infected population actually develops the active disease.2
About MULTIDRUG-RESISTANT TUBERCULOSIS (MDR-TB)
MDR-TB is defined as tuberculosis that is resistant to at least rifampicin and isoniazid, two first-line anti-TB medicines. Resistance to anti-TB drugs can result from using poor quality medicines, failing to complete a full course of treatment, as well as other misuse and mismanagement.2
Globally, an estimated 480.000 people got MDR-TB in 2014 and 190.000 died as a result of the disease.3
Despite an increase in diagnoses in the last years, less than one in four people estimated to have MDR-TB were started on second-line treatment in 2014. 50% of MDR-TB patients enrolled on treatment in 2012 were reported to have been successfully treated.3
On average, an estimated 9.7% of MDR-TB cases have so called extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), defined as MDR-TB with resistance to at least one fluoroquinolone and a second-line injectable.1, 3
WHO’S AT RISK FOR TB? 2
- People infected with TB bacteria have a 10% risk of falling ill with active TB in their lifetime.
- People with compromised immune systems - such as those people living with HIV or diabetes - as well as tobacco users have an increased risk of falling ill with TB.
- In 2014, an estimated 1 million children aged fourteen and younger fell ill with TB and 140.000 died.
OTSUKA’S COMMITMENT TO TB
- Otsuka is developing a new formulation of its drug for the treatment of MDR-TB in children.
- Otsuka is recognized as the largest private funder of TB research and development worldwide, having invested over US $350 million since 2005 alone, behind only to the U.S. government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.4
- Otsuka has supported a number of public health and case management programs around the world that support innovation in MDR-TB care and control:
- Otsuka has taken part in a project in Vietnam, implementing a novel Public-Private Model of community-DOTS TB care which also seeks to remove the stigma associated with TB.
- A pilot project in Moldova strengthened the rational utilization of existing rapid diagnostic tools, and introduced outpatient treatment enabling patients to stay in their communities.
- In order to improve TB and MDR-TB case management in private and public hospitals in Indonesia, Otsuka supported a project evaluating existing practices and identifying gaps and interventions necessary for effective TB management.
- In collaboration with TB experts from Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, and Estonia, Otsuka took part in a project strengthening locally-tailored MDR-TB management strategies.
Mycobacteriology Laboratory Manual. May 2014. Launched by Otsuka and the WHO’s Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI) working group of the Stop TB Partnership.
1 WHO – Global Tuberculosis Report 2015. (Accessed December 2015)
2 WHO – TB Fact sheet N°104. (Accessed December 2015)
3 WHO – Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Fact sheet. (Accessed December 2015)
4 Treatment Action Group. 2015 Report on Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends, 2005–2014. (Accessed December 2015)