Mylan in deal to help treat tuberculosis in India, South Africa

Mylan NV announced Thursday that it had reached a deal with a Japanese drug company to offer a medication to treat a particularly virulent form of tuberculosis in developing countries.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t announced between Mylan (Nasdaq: MYL) and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for Mylan’s exclusive license for Delamanid, otherwise known as Deltyba, that treats pulmonary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

Pulmonary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, also known as MDR-TB, takes longer to treat than other types of pulmonary tuberculosis and can be even more dangerous if drugs used to treat it don’t work. There are about 444,000 cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis every year worldwide, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. More than 150,000 cases of the disease worldwide are in South Africa and India alone, where the first phase of the Mylan-Otsuka deal will be focused to allow more people to receive the treatment.

“Mylan’s mission is to provide access to medicine to the world’s 7 billion people, including those in the developing world where the need for medicines like Deltyba are great and the challenges to reaching patients with high-quality medicines are high,” said Mylan President Rajiv Malik in a statement. “We are proud to partner with Otsuka to help deliver this important medicine in the highest-burden countries and provide more MDR-TB patients with access to treatment.”

The deal could lead to the medication being rolled out to other countries in the future, according to the companies.