New Class Of Antibiotic Needed To Defeat Superbugs

Scientific American: Getting the Upper Hand on Superbugs
Man Wah Tan, senior director and principal scientist of Genentech’s Infectious Disease division

“…Our research group at Genentech is particularly interested in the so-called ESKAPE pathogens … These bacteria, the leading causes of hospital-acquired infections, are rapidly developing resistance to more than one drug. … To have even a shot against these superbugs, we need an entirely new class of antibiotic. … In a study just published in Nature, our group describes a new class of antibiotic we developed that may provide fresh hope against the deadliest superbugs. … Novel classes of antibiotics are crucial because they allow us to reset the clock, providing new weapons that even the deadliest superbugs have not yet evolved to resist. There’s more to be done, but we’re excited about the potential of our new antibiotic class. Similar approaches could be applied to other types of antibiotics, potentially opening additional, faster avenues for creating fundamentally new antibiotics in the future. The battle against superbugs will never truly be over. But for the moment, we may have a chance to gain the upper hand” (9/12).