Sanofi and CDC Collaboration on New Tuberculosis Treatments

Partnership objectives

  1. With CDC, to develop rifapentine to simplify and shorten treatment of non-resistant latent and active TB.

  2. Within CPTR, to share information about existing treatments and compounds under development to speed up the identification of promising new treatments for TB.

Poor compliance not only puts the patient at risk of treatment failure, but also creates conditions that encourage the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Poor compliance not only puts the patient at risk of treatment failure, but also creates conditions that encourage the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Copyright Sanofi Pasteur

What are the health needs and challenges?

Along with HIV/AIDS and malaria, tuberculosis is one of the most widespread infectious diseases in the world. One-third of the world’s population is infected with M. tuberculosis, and approximately 8.6 million people develop active disease annually. Of these, 1.3 million die each year. Treatment of drug-susceptible tuberculosis (TB) is long and complex, involving frequent intake of multiple drugs for at least six months. When administered properly, the treatment is generally highly effective. However, for many patients it is difficult to comply with six months of treatment. Poor compliance not only puts the patient at risk of treatment failure, but also creates conditions that encourage the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The key challenge is to simplify the treatment and fight resistant strains in order to control drug-resistance TB.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lead an international group of scientists in the development of new indications for rifapentine, a Sanofi drug registered in the US since 1998 for the treatment of pulmonary drug-susceptible tuberculosis in combination with other drugs. In 2011, the CDC showed that rifapentine had the ability of considerably simplifying the treatment of latent tuberculosis, with the potential of improving patient compliance. 

Since 2011, Sanofi has also partnered with other research-based TB drug manufacturers through the Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens (CPTR) in order to share information on TB compounds within their respective drug pipelines to quickly identify and work together to develop the most promising TB drug regimen. 

Lessons learned

The CDC work on rifapentine in the treatment of latent TB is an example of a successful partnership which may deliver considerable gain for patients. Sharing information about R&D can speed up the development of TB drug combinations.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

A 2011 CDC study on rifapentine shows that the treatment of latent TB is a major milestone in the treatment of this infection. Sanofi has other projects in development with CDC on rifapentine in the treatment of latent and active TB, and is actively involved in the CPTR partnership in the search for innovative TB treatments.

In May 2014, Sanofi submitted to the US FDA a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for rifapentin in the treatment of latent TB.  

Partnership information

Company(ies) Sanofi

Partner(s) Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens (CPTR)

Type of Partner(s) Government, PDPs

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases

Disease(s) Tuberculosis

Program Type(s) Research & Development - Development of Treatments

Targeted Population(s) Men, Women

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 11

Country(ies) Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo

Research Country(ies) France, United States of America

Start Date 1998

More information Sanofi Access to Medicines

Anticipated completion date Ongoing