Scientists have created synthetic antibiotics that could save millions of lives
Researchers at the University of Liverpool are working hard and they’re now a step closer to defeating “superbugs,” such as MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) —- a superbug that is responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans.
In 2019, MRSA caused more than 100,000 deaths attributable to antimicrobial resistance. An AMR review commissioned by the government predicted, Around 10 million people will surrender to drug-resistant infections each year by 2050.
But surprisingly, the studies proved the new version is able to kill bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics in humans.
On Tuesday, Liverpool University announced that its brilliant researchers had created a synthetic type of teixobactin —- a molecule some bacteria use to kill other bacteria. The University named this new version of teixobactin a “game-changing” antibiotic, saying it is more efficient, safer, and can be inexpensively produced.
“This suggests that in future, patients may be treated with just one dose of teixobactin per day for systemic life-threatening resistant bacterial infections,” the university said.
“Introducing synthetic diversity to generate the library of synthetic teixobactins is important to overcome the high failure rates associated with the next stages of drug development,” said lead researcher Dr. Ishwar Singh.
In a study on mice, these scientists have successfully exterminated MRSA, which is resistant to several widely used antibiotics.
“Our motivation is to adapt the natural teixobactin molecule and make it suitable for human use. This is a journey. Through this project, we have demonstrated that we can make synthetic molecules at low cost and with high safety, which potently kills the resistant bacteria in mice. The advantage of synthetic diversity is that we can select or deselect properties and modify molecules to impact potency and other desirable drug-like qualities. Singh said.
“Our ultimate goal is to have a number of viable drugs from our modular synthetic teixobactin platform which can be used as a ‘last line of defense’ against superbugs to save lives currently lost due to AMR,” he added.
These synthetic teixobactins have a propitious feature that they remain strong and stable at room temperature for several months or even years. This means they won’t need any refrigeration the way many medicines do. They can be sent around the world effortlessly to address uncompromising bacterial infections.
“Our next steps will be to focus upon the central benefit of synthetic teixobactin to overcome multi-drug resistant bacteria in different disease models, scale-up process, followed by safety testing, which if successful, could potentially be used in hospitals as an investigational new medicine and be turned into a drug fit for treating resistant bacterial infections in humans globally. We will work with colleagues from CEIDR which have expertise in antimicrobials from drug discovery to clinic, to develop synthetic teixobactins into viable drugs,” Singh concluded.
The research group is giving hope to the future that they may be able to develop a more promising cure or treatment.
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