New antibiotic approved for drug-resistant infections

June 27, 2018, Wellcome Trust
Urinary tract infections are caused by Enterobacteriaceae, such as E. Coli Credit: Carolina Biological Supply Company

A new antibiotic, developed with support from Wellcome, has been approved for patient use in the US.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of plazomicin (opens in a new tab) (brand name ZEMDRI) for the treatment of complicated, drug-resistant urinary tract infections.

Wellcome supported development of the new medicine, including £8.1m funding for pre-clinical research and Phase 2 development.

The rapid rise and spread of untreatable superbugs is a serious and global health threat, currently killing around 700,000 people a year globally.

Dr. Tim Jinks, Head of Wellcome's Drug-Resistant Infections Programme said: "This new antibiotic will be a vital last-resort treatment for patients with complicated and life-threatening . As with any new antibiotic, ensuring appropriate use is essential.

"Developing new treatments is a key part of the global effort against superbugs – but it is complex, costly and challenging. It has taken more than a decade to get this medicine from promising laboratory research to a safe, approved medicine for patients."

Plazomicin is not a new class of , but has been developed to treat infections caused by drug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae – a Gram-negative bacteria identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the three superbugs that are most difficult to treat (opens in a new tab).

No approved antibiotic drug class has been discovered since 1980. Of even greater concern is the fact that no new class of antibiotics has been discovered to treat Gram-negative bacteria since 1962. These bacteria include most of the superbugs that the WHO consider the greatest threat to human health.

Wellcome's support and funding for plazomicin's development was provided by our Innovations team, and is part of our wider, ongoing programme to address drug-resistant infections globally.

Explore further: Octapeptin: 'Forgotten' antibiotic offers hope against worst superbugs

Related Stories

Octapeptin: 'Forgotten' antibiotic offers hope against worst superbugs

January 25, 2018
An antibiotic overlooked since its discovery 40 years ago could help develop new drugs against life-threatening infections caused by some of the world's most dangerous superbugs.

Understanding drug-resistant superbugs

July 18, 2016
News reports reveal drug-resistant super bacteria identified as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) have been found in the waters of Rio de Janeiro where the 2016 Olympics sailing events will be held.

Supercharged antibiotics could turn tide against superbugs

January 5, 2018
An old drug supercharged by University of Queensland researchers has emerged as a new antibiotic that could destroy some of the world's most dangerous superbugs.

Medical chemists discover peptic ulcer treatment metallodrug effective in 'taming' superbugs

April 23, 2018
Antimicrobial resistance caused by "superbugs" is a major public health issue of global concern. Drug-resistant infections kill around 700,000 people worldwide each year. The figure could increase up to 10 million by 2050, ...

Human trials target superbugs

March 6, 2018
The first human trials of a new approach to fight superbugs by starving them of iron are underway in South Australia.

CDC: Drug-resistant 'nightmare bacteria' pose growing threat

April 3, 2018
"Nightmare bacteria" with unusual resistance to antibiotics of last resort were found more than 200 times in the United States last year in a first-of-a-kind hunt to see how much of a threat these rare cases are becoming, ...

Recommended for you

Tibetan sheep highly susceptible to human plague, originates from marmots

August 16, 2018
In the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, one of the region's highest risk areas for human plague, Himalayan marmots are the primary carriers of the infectious bacterium Y. pestis. Y. pestis infection can be transmitted to humans and ...

Autoimmunity plays role in development of COPD, study finds

August 16, 2018
Autoimmunity plays a role in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study led by Georgia State University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center that analyzed human genome information ...

Scientists identify nearly 200 potential tuberculosis drug targets

August 16, 2018
Tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Nearly 2 million people die every year from this infectious disease, and an estimated 2 billion people are chronically infected. The only vaccine, developed almost ...

Reliable point-of-care blood test can help prevent toxoplasmosis

August 16, 2018
A recent study, performed in Chicago and Rabat, Morocco, found that a novel finger-prick test for infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy—and many other potential applications—is 100 percent sensitive ...

First mouse model to mimic lung disease could speed discovery of more effective treatments

August 16, 2018
The biggest hurdle to finding effective therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a life-threatening condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing is increasingly difficult – has been the inability ...

Anticancer drug offers potential alternative to transplant for patients with liver failure

August 15, 2018
Patients suffering sudden liver failure could in the future benefit from a new treatment that could reduce the need for transplants, research published today shows.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.