Navigation Links
Team hopes to cut years off development time of new antibiotics

HOUSTON, Feb. 11, 2011 Eliminating tens of thousands of manual lab experiments, two University of Houston (UH) professors are working toward a method to cut the development time of new antibiotics. While current practices typically last for more than a decade, a computerized modeling system being developed at UH will speed up this process.

Vincent Tam, associate professor of clinical sciences, and Michael Nikolaou, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, are focusing on dosing regimens to reveal which ones are most likely to be effective in combating infection and which are not worth pursuing. It is hoped that pharmaceutical companies can then focus their tests on the most promising regimens.

Their findings recently were the subject of a cover story titled "A Novel Approach to Pharmacodynamic Assessment of Antimicrobial Agents: New Insights to Dosing Regimen Design," appearing in the Public Library of Science's PLoS Computational Biology. The journal aims to further the understanding of living systems from molecules to humans through the application of computational methods. This article chronicles the results of a three-year endeavor that was initially funded by a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

"With microbial resistance to drugs increasing, there is a need to develop new antimicrobial agents rapidly," Tam said. "Our work proposes a new computational method that will provide quantitative insight to the interaction between certain antibiotics and pathogens. Through pharmacodynamic modeling, which studies the effects of drugs on organisms, our aim is to both help develop new antibiotics and optimize existing medications to curb the prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria."

The traditional approach to drug development involves a great deal of trial-and-error testing, such as empirically selecting a handful of dosing regimens for clinical investigations among hundreds of possibilities only time will tell its effectiveness. Tam and Nikolaou, however, are employing computer modeling and simulation to project how bacteria would respond to different exposures of a drug, focusing on how much medicine a patient should take, how often it should be taken and for how many days. Subsequent investigations in clinical studies can then target those dosing methods that have the highest probabilities of success.

Tam, an expert on experimental therapeutics, and Nikolaou, with a background in computer-aided systems engineering, forged their collaboration through a seed grant from UH before they attracted external funding. Their modeling approach relies on fundamental laws of nature, which are exploited to generate future projections from scant experimental inputs through computer simulation. This has been demonstrated to be better than simple human eyeballing.

"Our approach gives us the ability to take extra variables into consideration in an attempt to develop a more robust computational tool that covers a wider spectrum of relevant scenarios in new drug development," Nikolaou said. "Some pharmaceutical companies are following our developments closely, and we are in the process of refining a model prototype in the form of a computer program to ultimately be used in a clinical setting."


Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

Related biology news :

1. Test shows dinosaurs survived mass extinction by 700,000 years
2. The world can be powered by alternative energy, using todays technology, in 20-40 years
3. UF study of lice DNA shows humans first wore clothes 170,000 years ago
4. Without intervention, Mariana crow to become extinct in 75 years
5. 550 million years ago rise in oxygen drove evolution of animal life
6. Decline of West Coast fog brought higher coastal temperatures last 60 years
7. New book on 100 years of Illinois birds
8. Researcher explores the evolution of largest mammals over the past 100 million years
9. PAREXEL Completes 200 Patient Studies In Its Early Phase Units Over Three Years
10. German-Russian Otto Schmidt Laboratory in St. Petersburg funded for another 3 years
11. New statistical model moves human evolution back 3 million years
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Team hopes to cut years off development time of new antibiotics
(Date:10/27/2015)... Calif. , Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. ... solutions, today announced that Google has adopted the Synaptics ... touch controller solutions to power its newest flagship smartphones, ... by Huawei. --> ... like Google to provide strategic collaboration in the joint ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... LAS VEGAS , Oct. 26, 2015 ... an innovator in modern authentication and a founding member ... launch of its latest version of the Nok Nok™ ... to use standards-based authentication that supports existing and emerging ... Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing applications that ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... 23, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Voice Recognition Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their ... The global voice recognition biometrics market to grow ... --> --> The report, ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. ... Gorman , President and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will ... Conference in New York . ... visit the website approximately 5 minutes prior to the ... replay of the presentation will be available on the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... Report is a professional and in-depth study on ...      (Logo: ) , ... the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry ... for the international markets including development trends, competitive ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today ... following conference, and invited investors to participate via webcast. ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... International Society for Pharmaceutical ... the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The conference took ... hosted the largest number of attendees in more than a decade. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: