Navigation Links
Targeting evolution: Could this be the next strategy to stop superbugs?

PHILADELPHIA A Penn Medicine researcher is among the winners of a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) "academic drug hunter" competition that will help fast track his lab's work to stop drug-resistant bacteria.

"Superbugs" are evolving faster than antibiotics can keep up with, and as a result more than 2 million people in the United States get infected every year, and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result.

With this new partnership, Rahul Kohli, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the division of Infectious Diseases and department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and his lab can ramp up their efforts to discover drugs that stop the evolution in its tracks. Rather than taking the conventional approach of modifying existing antibiotics to overcome resistance, Kohli's lab aims to target the very pathways by which bacteria adapt to antibiotics and evolve resistance.

Kohli's team, spearheaded by Charlie Mo, a graduate student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, will now have access to 1.8 million compounds kept in GSK's chemical library and their other drug discovery technologies.

"The search is on to find a molecule that can disrupt the pathway that allows bacteria to acquire drug resistance," Kohli said. "The hope is that such a molecule can make bacteria more sensitive to existing antibiotics or slow the acquisition to the resistance, both of which would be valuable in the clinic."

This is GSK's first Discovery Fast Track competition in North America, which is designed to translate academic research into starting points for new potential medicines. There were eight winners in total across the country, selected from an initial pool of over 140 applications across 17 therapeutic areas and from 70 different institutions.

The competition was sponsored by GSK's Discovery Partnership with Academia program, a new approach to drug discovery where academic partners become core members of drug-hunting teams. GSK and the academic partner share the risk and reward of innovation: GSK funds activities in the partner laboratories and provides in-kind resources to progress a program from an idea to a candidate medicine.

"We were extremely pleased to be recognized," Kohli said. "Now we can take an idea that has good potential and efficiently move it from a theoretical academic pursuit into the practical realm, where it can hopefully ultimately benefit patients."

Work on the winning Discovery Fast Track projects will begin immediately and the first screens are expected to be completed in mid-2014. Kohli expects results from his investigation shortly thereafter.


Contact: Steve Graff
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Related biology news :

1. Targeting cancers sweet tooth
2. Honey bee gene targeting offers system to understand food-related behavior
3. U of M researchers develop model for better testing, targeting of MPNST
4. Therapies for ALL and AML targeting MER receptor hold promise of more effect with less side-effect
5. Signalling pathways meeting targeting the HER/EGFR family: Focus on breast, lung and colorectal cancers
6. Research improving breast cancer treatment by targeting tumor initiating cells
7. Cancer Cell article shows first evidence for targeting of Pol I as new approach to cancer therapy
8. Targeting tuberculosis hotspots could have widespread benefit
9. Nanobubbles plus chemotherapy equals single-cell cancer targeting
10. Climate change and coevolution: Weve done the math
11. Breakthrough by Temple researchers could lead to new treatment for heart attack
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Targeting evolution: Could this be the next strategy to stop superbugs?
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan has ... of MIT and Harvard for use of its ... information management tools. The partnership will support the ... biological and chemical research information internally and with ... be used for managing the Institute,s electronic laboratory ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... YORK , Nov. 10, 2015 ... to behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and ... fraud. Signature is considered as the secure and ... the identification of a particular individual because each ... more accurate results especially when dynamic signature of ...
(Date:11/2/2015)...  SRI International has been awarded a contract of ... to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) PREVENT Cancer Program ... modern testing and support facilities, and analytical instrumentation to ... studies to evaluate potential cancer prevention drugs. ... Drug Development Program is an NCI-supported pipeline to bring ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) closed ... events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The conference took place in Philadelphia, ... number of attendees in more than a decade. , “The 2015 Annual ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software ... events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health ... state are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today announced that its Annual General Meeting of ... Israel time, at the law offices of Goldfarb ... Floor, Tel Aviv, Israel . ... Tamir to the Board of Directors; , election of ... of an amendment to certain terms of options granted to our Chief ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the leading ... culture models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. ... on the management team and was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics ...
Breaking Biology Technology: