Griffith provides hope for a new antibiotic

The development of a new drug to be used in the war against antibiotic-resistant
infections is the expected outcome following a collaboration between a pharmaceutical company, Creative Antibiotics Sweden AB and a leading Griffith University Institute.

The new compound, called INP11252 has been identified after a screening project by Griffith’s Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies and has been licensed to Creative Antibiotics for further development.

INP11252 disables certain bacteria but does not kill them. Termed a “virulence blocker,” the

compound disarms the harmful bacteria for the body’s natural defences to clear the infection.

This could reduce the risk of bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics.

To date, severe clinical problems have arisen from the emergence of antibiotic resistance in bacteria to all commercially available antibiotics. The lack of new antibacterial agents to challenge this threat is global, and the demand for new antibiotics is high.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the target of INP11252, is one of the most challenging bacteria to beat. It can cause severe infections in the urinary tract and deep burn wounds and is harmful for cystic fibrosis patients.

The Eskitis Institute will produce more of INP11252 by extracting it from raw plant

material from Papua New Guinea, supplied through established contacts. It will beused for further studies of its anti-virulent effects in animals, in preparation for safety studies and clinical trials in humans.

“Resistance to antibiotics is on the rise and there are very few antibiotics against

certain harmful bacteria currently in the production pipeline,” said Dr Stuart

Newman, Strategic Development Manager for the Eskitis Institute.

“Unfortunately,the antibiotics that we do have are becoming less effective against infections. This collaboration will eventually allow Creative Antibiotics to develop a new drug to

combat these infections.”

In order to maintain the current critical supply of INP11252, Creative Antibiotics is

funding a post doctoral scientist at the Eskitis Institute for one year. This scientist

will be dedicated to the industry project to isolate more of this important compound.

Eskitis Director Professor Ron Quinn said he was very pleased a compound discovered by the Eskitis Institute had been selected for development by Creative Antibiotics.

“This compound was discovered by screening the Institute’s ‘Nature Bank’, which was originally established in a collaboration with AstraZeneca and has since been refined to provide more than 200,000 lead-like enhanced fractions.

“Nature has provided many of today’s therapeutics and we are hopeful that this compound can be developed into a new useful antibiotic drug.”