A regimen comprised of bedaquiline (BDQ, or B), pretomanid, and linezolid (BPaL) is the first oral 6-month regimen approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the World Health Organization for the treatment of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. We used a well-established BALB/c mouse model of tuberculosis to evaluate the treatment-shortening potential of replacing bedaquiline with either of two new, more potent diarylquinolines, TBAJ-587 and TBAJ-876, in early clinical trials. We also evaluated the effect of replacing linezolid with a new oxazolidinone, TBI-223, exhibiting a larger safety margin with respect to mitochondrial toxicity in preclinical studies. Replacing bedaquiline with TBAJ-587 at the same 25-mg/kg dose significantly reduced the proportion of mice relapsing after 2 months of treatment, while replacing linezolid with TBI-223 at the same 100-mg/kg dose did not significantly change the proportion of mice relapsing. Replacing linezolid or TBI-223 with sutezolid in combination with TBAJ-587 and pretomanid significantly reduced the proportion of mice relapsing. In combination with pretomanid and TBI-223, TBAJ-876 at 6.25 mg/kg was equipotent to TBAJ-587 at 25 mg/kg. We conclude that replacement of bedaquiline with these more efficacious and potentially safer diarylquinolines and replacement of linezolid with potentially safer and at least as efficacious oxazolidinones in the clinically successful BPaL regimen may lead to superior regimens capable of treating both drug-susceptible and drug-resistant TB more effectively and safely.
Keywords: TBAJ-587; TBAJ-876; TBI-223; bedaquiline; chemotherapy; diarylquinoline; linezolid; oxazolidinone; pretomanid; tuberculosis.