espite being preventable and curable, tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing 1.6 million people every year—more than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. Underserved communities bear the largest burden, with more than 95% of TB-related deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries, but this airborne disease knows no borders.
Growing drug resistance is compounding this public health challenge. In 2017, there were nearly 500,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), which does not respond to the two most frequently used first-line TB drugs. Drug-resistant TB now accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths from antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
For nearly 20 years, both in our laboratories and on the ground in countries impacted by TB and MDR-TB, Johnson & Johnson has been supporting global efforts to end TB and combat AMR.
In September 2018, Johnson & Johnson reaffirmed its continued commitment to the fight against TB by announcing a new 10-year initiative with three pillars:
Janssen identifies a compound that would ultimately be developed as our new therapy for MDR-TB.
The Janssen team publishes a study in the medical journal Science showing that our medicine successfully treats MDR-TB in mice.
Janssen enters into a license and collaboration agreement with the TB Alliance focused on the development of our MDR-TB medicine for drug-sensitive TB.
Our MDR-TB medicine is granted accelerated approval by the U.S. FDA as the first targeted drug with a novel mechanism of action against TB in more than 40 years.
This partnership with a procurement agent for the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility (GDF) helps to facilitate access to the company’s MDR-TB medicine.
The company commits to provide up to 30,000 courses of MDR-TB medicine, free of charge, in eligible low- and middle-income countries through a donation program with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The company enters an agreement with Pharmstandard to register and commercialize MDR-TB medicine and donate nearly 6,000 courses of treatment over four years in Russia and other countries in the region.
Janssen signs a Memorandum of Understanding with India’s Institute of Microbial Technology to develop safer, shorter and more effective TB treatments and multidrug regimens.
In response to high demand, Johnson & Johnson commits to provide an additional 30,000 courses of treatment through March 2019 via a donation program with USAID and Pharmstandard.
South Africa becomes the first country to recommend a bedaquiline-containing, injection-free regimen for all eligible MDR-TB patients.
In recognition of South Africa’s leadership, Johnson & Johnson announces a new single-channel price for eligible national TB programs and NGOs procuring our treatment through the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility.
A new cost-effectiveness study suggests both long- and short-course regimens containing our MDR-TB drug, without injectables, are cost-effective and provide significant health system savings.
The World Health Organization announces revised treatment guidelines for MDR-TB that categorize our medicine as a “Group A” medicine to be prioritized when constructing a conventional (long-course) regimen for MDR-TB.
Johnson & Johnson announces new 10-year TB initiative aimed at improving case finding, expanding treatment access and advancing R&D
To end TB, we urgently need to bring forward a new generation of treatments and multidrug regimens that are shorter, safer and more effective than many of the drugs currently used to treat the disease.
At Johnson & Johnson, our top priority is developing and delivering medicines to all patients in need. We stand committed to working closely with countries and other partners to rapidly scale up access to bedaquiline and reach all eligible patients.
Our mission has always been to ensure that patients have access to the best and most innovative TB treatment. I am confident that together with our global partners, we can achieve our ambitious goal of ending TB by 2030.
It has been an honor to be part of the team that worked to develop the first novel medicine for patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the last 40 years. Our achievement highlights the importance of research to improve global public health and reinforces Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to Our Credo: patients come first.