A new study published in the journal Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters has revealed that researchers have developed a new drug that may serve as a treatment against multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, a form of the disease that cannot be cured with conventional therapies.
Author Vasu Nair, Director, University of Georgia (UGA) Center for Drug Discovery, believes that multi-drug resistant TB is spreading rapidly in many parts of the world, and holds the opinion that their laboratory has developed a strong candidate that disrupts fundamental steps in the bacterium’s reproduction process.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nine million people contracted tuberculosis in 2013, and 1.5 million died from the disease.
While standard anti-TB drugs can cure most people of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, improper use of antibiotics has led to new strains of the bacterium resistant to the two most powerful medications, isoniazid and rifampicin.
The researchers also performed extensive studies to determine if their newly developed compound had an appropriately long half-life and could be cleared from the body through normal biochemical mechanisms.
This discovery of dual activity against both retroviruses and drug-resistant gram-positive bacteria is unique and opens a new chapter in drug discovery in this area.