AMR Centre Swedish deal targets 'superbug' time-bomb

From Drug Discovery Today - October 7, 2017

This key research program is aimed at tackling the threat posed by NDM-1 and other metallo--lactamases, enzymes that make bacteria resistant to widely used beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin. The AMR Centre, the leading UK organisation working to combat the global problem of drug resistance, will take forward this program.

Bacteria containing NDM-1 have already caused significant fatalities and the spread of this enzyme has the potential to greatly diminish the number of treatment options for organisms such as E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae. First identified in 2008 in New Delhi, NDM-1 has since been detected in bacteria in Pakistan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States,Canada, and Japan.

A licensing agreement will see AMRC progress the development of compounds deriving from Medivirs metallo--lactamase inhibitor (MBLI) program. The goal is a treatment that could be given alongside existing antibiotics that would block the resistance mechanism that the NDM-1 bacteria have developed. It would take the form of a combination therapy containing the MBLI alongside an existing -lactam antibiotic, with the MBLI inactivating the resistance mechanism thereby restoring and maintaining the antibiotic activity.

Under the terms of the agreement, AMRC, which operates from Alderley Park, Cheshire, UK, will be responsible for the future development of the MBLI program and will share with Medivir a proportion of commercialization revenue received from any future out-licensing, sale or other commercialization of licensed know-how or compounds. No further financial details were released.

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