New drugs for MRSA, at various experimental stages

As you might guess by the name, ICAAC (the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy) features much research on the pharma side of things. There were many research reports this past week on drugs at various stages that I was intending to write up for you, but I just noticed that Reuters got there first and did quite a good job. So consider checking this story, which discusses PTK 0796, iclaprim, ceftobiprole, dalbavancin and televancin:

Two experimental antibiotics appear to work safely against an increasingly common and dangerous form of infection called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, researchers said on Sunday.
Doctors are clamoring for drugs that can fight the so-called superbug infection, which kills an estimated 19,000 people a year in the United States alone. (Reuters)

An important consideration that is not much discussed: It is not enough just to have new drugs; what we need are new classes of drugs. That’s because, when staph acquires protection against one drug, it is likely to be acquiring protecting against all chemically similar drugs — thus, not just methicillin but all the synthetic penicillins; not just Keflex but all the first-generation (and second- and third-generation) cephalosporins.


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