Fox News – Scientists in Switzerland have announced the discovery of a new class of antibiotics shown to be effective against deadly, drug-resistant bacteria.
The antibiotic, called zosurabalpin, works by blocking a bacterial molecule called lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is responsible for creating the outer membrane that protects a harmful bacteria, Acinetobacter baumannii.
Acinetobacter is a “gram-negative” bacteria, which means it is resistant to most antibiotics and other drugs.
It can cause infections in the blood, lungs, urinary tract and other parts of the body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In animal studies, zosurabalpin successfully killed drug-resistant strains of Acinetobacter.
Over the next 30 years, antimicrobial resistance is projected to claim more lives than those taken by cancer today.
The research, conducted at Roche Pharma Research & Early Development in Switzerland, was published in the journal Nature on Jan. 3.
“This new class of antibiotics prevents bacteria from creating their outer membrane, which provide structure to the bacteria and help them survive in harsh environments and cause infection,” Kenneth Bradley, the Switzerland-based global head of infectious disease discovery at Roche, told Fox News Digital via email.
Without the ability to transport LPS — the bacteria die.
“The new molecule overcomes the existing drug-resistance mechanisms that the currently available antibiotics are failing to address,” Bradley said.
This is the first time in over 50 years that a new class of antibiotic has been identified to treat infections by gram-negative bacteria, he noted.
Zosurabalpin specifically targets Acinetobacter.
“The specificity of zosurabalpin is due to the unique way in which it binds to the drug target in these bacteria,” Bradley said …