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Johnson & Johnson Seeks Approval for First Drug Against Tuberculosis

Johnson & Johnson is seeking U.S. approval for the first new type of medicine to fight deadly tuberculosis in more than four decades.

Johnson & Johnson building in Madrid
Cristina Arias, Getty Images

The experimental drug, called bedaquiline, also would be the first drug specifically for treatinng multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. That’s an increasingly common form in which at least two of the four primary TB drugs don’t work.

Tuberculosis, caused by bacterial infection of the lungs and other body areas, is the world’s No. 2 killer of adults among infectious diseases.

Roughly one-third of the world’s population is estimated to be infected with the bacteria causing tuberculosis, which kills nearly 3,800 people a day.

J&J’s Janssen Research & Development unit created the drug.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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