What is it about?

PA-824 is currently under clinical development for the treatment of tuberculosis. We synthesised S-PA-824 and its mirror image form (R-PA824) and found that both were active against leismania parasites grown in macrophages. However, the R-form, which is essentially inactive againt the tubercle bacillus, was more active than the S-form against leishmania. The R-form was also found to be active in a mouse model of visceral leishmaniasis.

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Why is it important?

R-PA824 is a new potential treatment for visceral leishmaniasis. How it works is not known, other than it is different to how fexinidazole works in leishmaniasis and different to how S-PA-824 is thought to work against the tubercle bacillus. Further safety studies are necessary before it could be considered for clinical trials.


This article underlines the power of drug repusprosing as a faster route to new treatments for neglected diseases of poverty.

Professor Alan H Fairlamb
University of Dundee

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This page is a summary of: TheREnantiomer of the Antitubercular Drug PA-824 as a Potential Oral Treatment for Visceral Leishmaniasis, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, July 2013, ASM Journals,
DOI: 10.1128/aac.00722-13.
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