New Antibiotic Successfully Treats “Superbugs” For The First Time

In a “game-changing” breakthrough, scientists say they have successfully tested an antibiotic capable of killing drug-resistant bacteria. This could lead to the first new class of antibiotic drugs in 30 years.

Last fall, researchers at the University of Lincoln announced they had successfully produced two synthetic versions of the naturally occurring antibiotic, teixobactin. First discovered in 2015, the natural form had previously proven successful against antibiotic-resistant pathogens like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci).

Now, researchers say they have been able to simplify and synthesize a form of teixobactin successfully used to treat a bacterial infection in mice. They say this synthetic form is just as potent at killing “superbugs” as teixobactin in its natural form. The study is published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

By replacing key amino acids at certain points in the antibiotic’s structure, scientists have cut development time from 30 hours to just 10 minutes. This quick turnaround could harness the antibiotic’s effects and allow for commercial production.


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