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Image of new antibiotic in action opens up new opportunities to combat antibacterial resistance
Date:8/4/2010

ria such as Staphylococus aureus, including methicillin resistance S. aureus (MRSA), and against gram negative bacteria like E. coli, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella and Acinetobacter. Gram-negative bacteria are particularly difficult to attack as they have an outer membrane surrounding the bacterial cell wall which interferes with drug penetration. New medicines must not only be toxic to the pathogen, but must first overcome the barriers to entry into the cell.

Commenting on the importance of the findings, Ted Bianco of the Wellcome Trust said: "This is an important step forward in the race against antibiotic resistance. By solving the new structure of this important bacterial enzyme, and understanding how these drugs work, the team has opened the door for targeted drug design of new antibiotics, which are urgently needed."

The particular compound from this study is one of a group that is currently being worked on in order to develop the best compounds in terms of efficacy and safety. This should help identify drug candidates that could be taken forward into early stage trials in humans.

Development of the new drug class to tackle gram-negative infections is supported as part of the Trust's Seeding Drug Discovery initiative. The collaboration provides GSK with a 4 million award from the Trust with GSK matching the contribution in staff, equipment, and other programme costs. The research collaborations with the Trust and with DTRA are aimed at developing an entirely new class of antibacterials to tackle hospital-acquired infections and potential bio-threat outbreaks.

"The Wellcome Trust has recently announced a five-year extension to the Seeding Drug Discovery initiative, enabling us to continue to support drug development in areas of unmet medical need," added Rick Davis, Business Development Manager at the Wellcome Trust.


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Contact: Jen Middleton
j.middleton@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7262
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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