Infections

New Drug Might Solve Problem of Antibiotic Resistance

Edmond J. LaVoie, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at Rutgers University and Co-Founder of TAXIS Pharmaceuticals, discusses the potential of a new antibiotic to combat the increasing problems of antibiotic resistance. TAXIS Pharmaceuticals has identified a new agent, labeled TXA-709, that has a unique mechanism of action compared with other antibiotics that target Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. TXA-709 can run interference on the process of cytokinesis, the way in which bacterial cells divide.

Rather than affecting the DNA or protein synthesis of cells, TXA-709 inhibits the activity of FtsZ, the substance responsible for recruiting the necessary materials for cell division to take place. This method of action is different from all previous antibiotic agents used in medicine. The drug is both orally and intravenously efficacious, making its mode of delivery more versatile than other drugs used to treat similar bacterial infections. Most importantly, this agent will experience little to no cross-resistance from other antibiotics, since it is the first to use this form of cellular division inhibition.

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