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LifeArc, Dstl & CDRD partner to identify antibacterial drug targets

PBR Staff Writer Published 29 June 2017

UK-based LifeArc and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) will collaborate with Canada’s The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) to identify antibacterial drug targets.

The collaboration intends to come up with a solution to address antibiotic resistance, a global health problem that is making treatment of common infectious diseases difficult and at times impossible.

Most of antibacterial drug discovery programs till date have concentrated on very specific aspects of resistance, or single pathogen species as per the partners.

Their new project though will take a more holistic path, exploring commonality in various pathogens to figure out which genes or targets express proteins that result in the production of multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Dstl senior fellow professor Timothy Atkins said: “To protect the armed forces and the civilian population against the threat of infectious disease we need to develop novel antimicrobials that are active against a broad spectrum of pathogens.

“To achieve this challenging goal we need to be working with scientists at the forefront of their respective disciplines, which is why we’re extremely enthusiastic about the prospect of working alongside LifeArc and CDRD to bring our individual expertise to bear on this globally important issue.”

Through the research, the most potential targets will be selected based on a biophysical and drug discovery point of view and validated scientifically before they are introduced into drug discovery programs.

According to the research partners, antibiotics are becoming less effective in treating a populating list of infections including tuberculosis, pneumonia, gonorrhea and sepsis.

Citing an earlier filed report relating to antimicrobial resistance, the collaboration said that by 2050 it has been predicted that resistance to presently available antibiotics will create a roadblock to common medical procedures and operations from being carried out owing to risk posed by bacterial infections.

As per the partners, currently there is a huge requirement to identify new targets and accordingly develop novel antibacterial agents to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.