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Comparative efficacy of the novel diarylquinoline TBAJ-587 and bedaquiline against a resistant Rv0678 mutant in a mouse model of tuberculosis

By Jian Xu, Paul J Converse, Anna Upton, Khisimuzi Mdluli, Nader Fotouhi, Eric Nuermberger

Posted 18 Nov 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.17.387977

Since its conditional approval in 2012, bedaquiline (BDQ) has been a valuable tool for treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. More recently, a novel short-course regimen combining BDQ with pretomanid and linezolid won approval to treat highly drug-resistant tuberculosis. Clinical reports of emerging BDQ resistance have identified mutations in Rv0678 that de-repress the expression of the MmpL5/MmpS5 efflux transporter as the most common cause. Because the effect of these mutations on bacterial susceptibility to BDQ is relatively small (e.g., 2-8x MIC shift), increasing the BDQ dose would increase antibacterial activity but also pose potential safety concerns, including QTc prolongation. Substitution of BDQ with another diarylquinoline with superior potency and/or safety has the potential to overcome these limitations. TBAJ-587 has greater in vitro potency than BDQ, including against Rv0678 mutants, and may offer a larger safety margin. Using a mouse model of tuberculosis and different doses of BDQ and TBAJ-587, we found that against wild-type M. tuberculosis H37Rv and an isogenic Rv0678 mutant, TBAJ-587 has greater efficacy against both strains than BDQ, whether alone or in combination with pretomanid and either linezolid or moxifloxacin and pyrazinamide. TBAJ-587 also reduced the emergence of resistance to diarylquinolines and pretomanid. This work was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grant Number INV-009358

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