Monday, April 18, 2011

New substance (Benzothiazin derivative) to tackle drug resistant tuberculosis...

Project NM4TB which gathers 18 research teams from 13 countries, discovered a novel class of substances, called benzothiazinones (BTZ-see structure), that could be used in the treatment of tuberculosis and drug resistant tuberculosis.

Prof Stewart Cole, Dr Vadim Makarov, Dr Ute Möllmann, Prof Giovanna Riccardi, and their colleagues have identified a novel class of compounds called benzothiazinones (BTZ) that act by preventing the TB bacterium from constructing its cell wall. In particular, one member of the class, BTZ043 was extremely potent, killing the TB agent, both in test tube experiments and in mouse models of the disease. BTZ043 is as effective as the two main drugs (Isoniazid and Rifampicin) in reducing the bacterial levels in the lungs and spleens of infected mice. The target of the new class of compounds is a component of Mycobacterium’s cell-wall-building machinery that has never before been used as a drug target. The most advanced compound of this new class, BTZ043, is a candidate for inclusion in combination therapies for both drug-sensitive and extensively drug-resistant TB. 

These substances act by preventing the bacteria that cause tuberculosis from constructing their cell wall. This discovery represents an important breakthrough in the battle against tuberculosis as the most advanced compound of this new class, BTZ043, is also effective against extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB).

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