A new drug has been developed by the University of South Florida’s medical school that can prevent or treat drug-resistant TB in animals.
The team at CSU Medical School is the first to isolate a compound that blocks the development of the bacteria that causes drug-resistance.
The new drug, a compound called dibenzopyrrolizumab, can help treat drug resistance in humans and animals, according to Dr. Sarah M. O’Brien, an associate professor in the school’s School of Medicine.
Othara Medical Sciences, a biomedical research company, is the lead developer of the drug.
“This is a remarkable achievement for the biomedical research community in terms of their ability to create a compound with clinical use potential,” said Dr. O”Brien, who is also an assistant professor in CSU’s School for Biomedical Sciences.
The compound is the third drug in the company’s pipeline to be approved for clinical use in humans.
O`Brien and her team also recently reported the first human-to-human drug transfer from mice to humans.
She said she was surprised by the new drug’s safety and efficacy in humans, especially considering that it’s only in mice.
“Our study showed that this compound is highly effective in treating drug- resistant TB in the mice, but that it also showed efficacy in human patients,” she said.
The study, published online on March 30 in the journal PLOS One, was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
In a previous study published in the same journal, CSU scientists reported that dibuzopyrrolimus (dibuzo) has shown promise in the treatment of drug-refreshing TB in humans with drug-susceptibility.
Oribas said that dizoxazole (zinc sulfate) can be used to treat TB but that there is a lack of effective treatment options.
“We have been looking for a way to use zinc sulfate as an anti-tuberculosis drug for several years, but we haven’t found a way yet,” Oriba said.
“Now we have found a solution.”
The compound’s mechanism of action is similar to that of zilpyrone, another anti-TB drug.
But unlike zilpsyrone’s mechanism, dizoxybenzyl sulfate’s mechanism is different, Oribah said.
Orobas said the compound’s ability to inhibit the bacteria responsible for drug-induced TB is similar, and that it was able to do so in a number of different mouse models.
“It’s very promising,” she added.
The research team also reported in the March 30 journal that difluoroacetic acid (DFA) has been shown to be effective in reducing the development and transmission of TB in animal models.
The drug was previously approved in the U.S. and in Europe for the treatment in humans of tuberculosis.
DFA is used in animal studies to treat tuberculosis and is not approved for human use.
Dr. Robert F. Stemler, a professor of pathology at the University at Buffalo School of Veterinary Medicine and a member of the research team, said the work of O’Reillys lab is important for advancing our understanding of TB.
“For the first time, we can look at TB from a new perspective,” he said.
In addition to Oribachs lab, other members of the team include Dr. D. Michael Fuchs, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Biocontainment and Research on TB; Dr. Christopher P. Hodge, M, DPT, professor of medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine; and Dr. David B. Kline, MEd, associate professor and director at the Institute of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center.
This research was supported in part by the Office of Naval Research, National Institutes, and National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Science Foundation, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The findings are featured in the April 12 issue of Science, which will be published online March 30.
For more information on TB, visit the National TB Center at http://www.cdc.gov/ntb/index.htm or follow the Center on Twitter at @cdcntb.
Follow the Center’s TB news on Twitter: http://twitter.com/cdc_ntb or on Facebook at http.facebook.com, www.facebook/ctb.csu.edu, or www.ctbinstitute.org/index/news.php.
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