Sutezolid added to MPP as potential TB drug

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

On 24 January 2017, a joint press statement announced agreement to add first TB drug to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).

The agreement will “enable open non-exclusive licenses with multiple drug developers to conduct research and develop drug combinations that include sutezolid”. These can include product development organisations, companies and governments.

Sutezolid showed promise in phase 2a studies but there have been no further studies since 2013. The primary patent owned by Pfizer expired in 2014, but Sequella and JHU still hold secondary patents and clinical data on the drug.

That this has occurred for a drug whose primary patent has since expired highlight the low priority for developing new TB treatment. Almost 700 community-based organisations including Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), MSF’s Access Campaign, TAG, TB CAB, Public Citizen and JHU students and alumni have, for years, called on JHU to license sutezolid as broadly as possible and with a public health approach, and to also release access to early trial data. [3]

The statement noted a caution that the agreement has no impact on the final pricing for drugs that are successful.


  1. Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) joint press statement. Public health groups welcome Johns Hopkins University and Medicines Patent Pool agreement for open development of promising TB drug. (24 January 2017)
  2. Andrew J. from UAEM explained the sutezolid story in the Lancet:
  3. 3. Community open Letter to JHU, 2016. (PDF)

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