Battling ‘superbugs’: Re-engineering existing drugs to beat microbial resistance

A classic drug supercharged by College of Queensland researchers has become a brand new antibiotic that may destroy a few of the world’s most harmful superbugs.

The supercharge technique , brought by Dr Mark Blaskovich and Professor Matt Cooper from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), potentially could revitalise other antibiotics.

Staphylococcus aureus Image/CDCStaphylococcus aureus

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria – superbugs – cause 700,000 deaths worldwide every year, along with a United kingdom government review has predicted this might rise to ten million by 2050.

Dr Blaskovich stated that old drug, vancomycin, was still being broadly accustomed to treat very harmful microbial infections, but bacteria were becoming more and more resistant against it.

“The rise of vancomycin-resistant bacteria, and the amount of patients dying from resistant infections that can’t be effectively treated, stimulated we to check out methods to revitalise old antibiotics,” Dr Blaskovich stated.

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“We did this by modifying vancomycin’s membrane-binding qualities to selectively bind to microbial membranes instead of individuals of human cells, creating a number of supercharged vancomycin derivatives known as vancapticins.”

The rebooted vancomycin can treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE).

Professor Cooper stated pharmaceutical companies had departed the antibiotic discovery field because new antibiotics were difficult to get and weren’t as lucrative as cholesterol-lowering medications or cancer treatments.

“Hence many scientists are re-engineering existing drugs to beat microbial resistance, instead of trying to find new drugs,” he stated.

“Drug development is generally centered on improving binding to some biological target, and barely concentrates on assessing membrane-binding qualities.

“This approach labored using the vancapticins, and also the question now’s whether you can use it to revitalise other antibiotics which have lost effectiveness against resistant bacteria.

“Given the alarming rise of multi-drug resistant bacteria and the amount of time it requires to build up a brand new antibiotic, we have to take a look at any solution that may fix the antibiotic drug discovery pipeline now,” Professor Cooper stated.


Food and drug administration warns of severe vision loss connected with eye injections of the compounded drug that contains vancomycin

“Raising awareness about emerging issues of safety connected with compounded drugs is really a main concern for that FDA’s compounding program,” stated Jesse Woodcock, M.D., director from the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Just today, the Food and drug administration provided information regarding a situation of severe vision loss connected with eye injections of the compounded drug that contains vancomycin.


A week ago, the Food and drug administration approved adding a serious vision loss warning within the Food and drug administration-approved labels of injectable vancomycin, consider labels for compounded drugs are not reviewed or authorized by the Food and drug administration, this warning won’t always be incorporated within the labels of compounded drugs with vancomycin for injection.

Therefore, medical service providers administering eye injections of compounded drugs that contains vancomycin for prophylaxis might not be immediately conscious of this potentially blinding postoperative complication connected using its use. The Food and drug administration promises to use compounding risk alerts to speak issues of safety associated with compounded drugs to medical service providers to assist inform decisions concerning the medications they administer.”

Today, the Food and drug administration issued a Compounding Risk Alert concerning a bad event connected with compounded triamcinolone, moxifloxacin and vancomycin (TMV) for intraocular injection. The Food and drug administration received a bad event set of August. 14, 2017, from the physician concerning someone who had been diagnosed postoperatively with bilateral hemorrhagic occlusive retinal vasculitis (HORV), that is a rare, potentially blinding postoperative complication that’s been noticed in a large number of patients who’ve received intraocular injections of vancomycin (anti-infective) formulations toward the finish of otherwise uncomplicated cataract surgeries. On Sept. 28, 2017, the company approved an additional new drug application that contributes a subsection about HORV towards the WARNINGS portion of the prescribing information within the labeling from the Food and drug administration approved Vancomycin Injection, USP.

This is actually the third emerging safety issue the Food and drug administration has reported using a Compounding Risk Alert. The Food and drug administration formerly cautioned of adverse occasions connected with compounded triamcinolone and moxifloxacin product for intravitreal injection as well as two serious adverse occasions connected with compounded curcumin emulsion product for injection. Although compounded drugs can serve an essential medical need, they haven’t yet been reviewed through the Food and drug administration for safety, effectiveness or quality.