Scientists report we ‘may be approaching a new era of antibiotics’ with publication in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry of a landmark study which ‘offers the first proof that a new synthetic form of teixobactin can neutralise drug-resistant bacteria’.

To date the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared antibiotic resistance ‘one of the world’s most pressing public health problems’ – with two million US inhabitants alone infected by drug-resistant bacteria per year and more than 23,000 individual deaths annually as a result.

The new antibiotic, created by a team of UK researchers led by senior lecturer Ishwar Singh at the University of Lincoln and used successfully to treat an infection in mice, has been called ‘game-changing’ and the findings may ‘lead to the first new class of antibiotic drug in 30 years.’

Singh and colleagues studied the structure of teixobactin and found key amino acids that, when replaced, made the antibiotic easier to replicate into 10 synthetic analogs.

However he noted: ‘A significant amount of work remains in the development of teixobactin as a therapeutic antibiotic for human use. We are probably six to 10 years off a drug that doctors can prescribe to patients.’

Still ‘this is a real step in the right direction and now opens the door for improving our in-vivo [analogs]. Translating our success with these simplified synthetic versions from test tubes to real cases is a quantum jump in the development of new antibiotics, and brings us closer to realising the therapeutic potential of simplified teixobactins.’

Sources: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and