New drug compound could help to treat tuberculosis

27th February 2015

A new drug compound could break down barriers in the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

The new drug binds to magnesium and specific amino acids located in the bacterium, which helps to stop the production of RNA. Extensive studies were completed in order to identify where the new compound had a sufficiently long half-life and could be adequately cleared from the body.

Vasu Nair, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Drug Discovery in the UGA College of Pharmacy and lead author of the paper, said: “There is a tremendous need for new therapies, and we think our laboratory has developed a strong candidate that disrupts fundamental steps in the bacterium's reproduction process.”

Mr Nair explained that the compound limits the growth of the bacterium and eliminates the chance of it reproducing and spreading to other areas of the body.

A dual-purpose drug would be particularly helpful for people with HIV, as those with the condition are between 26 and 31 times more likely to develop TB. 

Posted by Edward Bartel

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