Introduction: In 2010, about 8.8 million new cases of tuberculosis were recorded and 1.1 million people died of tuberculosis worldwide. Although numbers are in decrease since 2006, tuberculosis still represents a global issue and a major public health threat, due to appearance of multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis cases. Although anti-tuberculosis drugs currently used are effective against tuberculosis, they present however more and more limits, especially in treating complex cases of tuberculosis, increasing therefore the need to develop new tools and approaches to treat tuberculosis today.
Areas covered: In this review, we describe anti-tuberculosis drugs in Phase II clinical trials and in preclinical phase that are likely to play a crucial role in the management of tuberculosis cases in a near future. SQ109, TMC207, nitroimidazoles, and oxazolidinones are currently in Phase II clinical trials while BDM31343, SQ641, CPZEN-45, RBx 8700, DC-159a, and BTZ043 are in preclinical phase.
Conclusion: These drugs, alone or in different combinations represent a promising future for the treatment of tuberculosis. Continual conjugative efforts between governments and private organizations worldwide are essential for building new strategies for discovery and the development of new anti-tuberculosis drugs.