Delamanid or pretomanid? A Solomonic judgement!

The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy, Volume: 77, Issue: 4
March 31, 2022
Saskia E Mudde SE, Anna M Upton AM, Anne Lenaerts A, Hannelore I Bax HI, Jurriaan E M De Steenwinkel JEM

Given the low treatment success rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), novel TB drugs are urgently needed. The landscape of TB treatment has changed considerably over the last decade with the approval of three new compounds: bedaquiline, delamanid and pretomanid. Of these, delamanid and pretomanid belong to the same class of drugs, the nitroimidazoles. In order to close the knowledge gap on how delamanid and pretomanid compare with each other, we summarize the main findings from preclinical research on these two compounds. We discuss the compound identification, mechanism of action, drug resistance, in vitro activity, in vivo pharmacokinetic profiles, and preclinical in vivo activity and efficacy. Although delamanid and pretomanid share many similarities, several differences could be identified. One finding of particular interest is that certain Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates have been described that are resistant to either delamanid or pretomanid, but with preserved susceptibility to the other compound. This might imply that delamanid and pretomanid could replace one another in certain regimens. Regarding bactericidal activity, based on in vitro and preclinical in vivo activity, delamanid has lower MICs and higher mycobacterial load reductions at lower drug concentrations and doses compared with pretomanid. However, when comparing in vivo preclinical bactericidal activity at dose levels equivalent to currently approved clinical doses based on drug exposure, this difference in activity between the two compounds fades. However, it is important to interpret these comparative results with caution knowing the variability inherent in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models.