New Antibiotic To Treat Resistant Infections

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During the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy or ICAAC, a pharmaceutical company from Glasgow has announced their findings on a new drug which can potentially treat resistant infections like the MRSA and the Clostridium difficile bacillus.

Back in 2010, the bacillus bacteria Clostridium difficile was responsible for over 3,000 deaths in the UK. Out of this number, 65 of these deaths occurred in Scotland. C. difficile was a probable cause of about 205 more deaths. As per the National Statistics Office, the said bacillus was responsible for 2,074 deaths in the England and Wales. On the other hand, 91 cases came from Northern Ireland.

According to the World Health Organization, Antimicrobial agents are considered “miracle drugs” that are our leading weapons in the treatment of infectious diseases. Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of certain microorganisms to withstand attack by antimicrobials, and the uncontrolled rise in resistant pathogens threatens lives and wastes limited healthcare resources.

They also shared that many infectious diseases risk becoming uncontrollable and could derail the progress made towards reaching the targets of the health-related United Nations Millennium Development Goals set for 2015. When infections become resistant to first-line medicines, more expensive therapies must be used. The longer duration of illness and treatment, often in hospitals, increases health-care costs and the financial burden to families and societies.

Biopharma, the said pharmaceutical company responsible for formulating the said antibiotic is developing MGB BP-3, a compound which is said to have a higher efficacy in killing and preventing C. difficile as compared to Vancomycin, another high level antibiotic which is currently the treatment of choice for the said bacillus.

Dr. Miroslav Ravic, CEO of the pharmaceutical company said, “It seems we are hearing too much about Clostridium difficile infections these days in the press, especially those acquired in hospital by elderly patients in whom the infection can be fatal. This is clearly an area of high unmet need as a result of the rise of resistant bacteria which are threatening to outpace the availability of new drugs able to successfully treat these life- threatening infections. We are very excited that MGB BP-3 shows such a promising response against this troublesome and difficult to treat infection. We are committed to developing a specific oral drug for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections in addition to the progress we are making with an IV drug against MRSA.”

Professor Suckling, the principal investigator of the DNA minor groove binder technology, which is also a technology used in developing the medication, said that, “C Diff. infections can kill and patients can face prolonged courses of treatment to deal with them. We have come up with strong compounds, which are capable not only of clearing the infections but also of stopping them. We believe this could be a significant step forward in tackling these dangerous infections.”

On the other hand, Senior member of the research team, Professor Curtis Gemmell, commented that, “The fact that our drug candidate shows greater efficacy than vancomycin is extremely promising for its future. The fact we are making this presentation at ICAAC underscores the importance that our scientific peers attach to our findings.”




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