Teixobactin is an antibiotic active against Gram positive bacteria which have become resistant to available antibiotics on the market. It was discovered in 2014, but the discovery was published in 2015 thanks to a joint work carried out by four institutes in the United States and Germany in collaboration with two pharmaceutical groups.
According to these teams, this molecule, which they found no mutant of Staphylococcus aureus or Mycobacterium tuberculosis may resist can open the way for the production of antibiotics that could prevent the development of drug resistance in organisms targeted.
Researchers have discovered the new antibiotic, teixobactin, following years of research. In Vitro study demonstrated it was effective in mice in treating certain bacterial strains resistant to common antibiotics. The good news the drug could be available for humans in about six years.
“In five to six years, if all goes well, teixobactin could become the first member of a new class of antibiotics,” said Kim Lewis, a researcher at Northeastern University in Boston, lead author of the study. In early 2015, human clinical trials of teixobactin were predicted to be about two years away.
Dr. Lewis and colleagues found Teixobactin by reviewing some 10,000 bacteria compounds extracted from soil and cultivated according to a new method patented by US pharmaceutical company NovoBiotic.
Tested on mice, the new antibiotic was, according to the study, demonstrated to be effective on many species of bacteria: Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), a bacterium which causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal disorders such as colitis; Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that causes food poisoning and, in some cases, septicemia (a life-threatening infection of the blood); Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis.
These three bacteria have developed resistance against conventional antibiotics, leading to serious health problem such as totally drug-resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB). This new antibiotic is effective against bacteria resistant to other treatments as well.
This is a major discovery, considering that there have been few discoveries in the field of antibiotics in recent years.