Skip to main content
Martina Kovarova, PhD

Led by Martina Kovarova, PhD, Miriam Braunstein, PhD, and J. Victor Garcia, PhD, UNC School of Medicine researchers showed in vivo efficacy of a long-acting injectable formulation of the anti-TB drug rifabutin.

In 2020, more than 1.5 million people around the world died of tuberculosis, marking the first time in more than a decade that annual TB deaths had increased and demonstrating the global need for better access to treatments. To address that problem, scientists at the UNC School of Medicine, the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, and the International Center for the Advancement of Translational Science developed a long-acting injectable formulation of the anti-TB drug rifabutin.

Published in the journal Nature Communications, research in animal models showed the potential of delivering a TB drug with one injection that lasts at least four months, in lieu of the current standard treatment requiring constant adherence to a daily drug regimen.

“We think our approach could dramatically change TB treatment,” said Martina Kovarova, PhD, associate professor of medicine at UNC “Affordable long-acting formulations with generic anti-TB drugs would help ease the burden of this disease on low-income communities around the world where better access to treatment is most needed.”

Read more from the UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine Newsroom.