Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Promising NZ compound selected as drug candidate for TB

Media release

Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery
A Centre of Research Excellence
hosted by The University of Auckland

and

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
The University of Auckland


17 September 2012


Promising New Zealand compound selected as drug candidate for tuberculosis

A New Zealand-designed compound that shows promise against treatment-resistance tuberculosis (TB) has been selected as a drug candidate by international non-profit drug developer the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance).

The compound, TBA-354, was designed by scientists at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre (ACSRC) and Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery in partnership with the TB Alliance and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

TBA-354 has been more potent in preclinical studies than another compound in its class, PA-824, which has already shown promise in clinical trials. This is the first new class of drugs to be developed for TB in nearly 50 years, and the first designed to work against the persistent form of the disease.

Clinical results reported earlier this year suggest that PA-824, in combination with an existing TB drug, could treat some drug resistant forms of TB in just four months in contrast to the 18-24 months required for current regimens. TBA-354, the follow-on compound, may prove to be even more effective.

“TBA-354 is an improved, second-generation version of PA-824,” says Professor Bill Denny, Co-Director of the ACSRC and a Maurice Wilkins Centre principal investigator. “It is much more potent than PA-824, longer lasting, and has greater activity against resistant strains of the disease. Recent trials by the TB Alliance show that PA-824 can shorten the treatment period for TB and it’s encouraging that in TBA-354 we have a compound that is clearly superior to PA-824.”

“This has been an excellent and productive collaboration, across groups with different skills, where we have learned much from each other that we can apply in future,” says Associate Professor Brian Palmer of the ACSRC and Maurice Wilkins Centre, who led the project’s chemistry team of Drs Adrian Blaser, Iveta Kmentova, Hamish Sutherland and Andrew Thompson.

The TB Alliance expects to complete preclinical studies of TBA-354 by early 2013 and will then seek permission from the US Food and Drug Administration to begin trials in humans.

Professor Denny says that when PA-824 was discovered it clearly showed promise but had limitations and little was known about the nitroimidazole class to which it belongs. The New Zealand scientists discovered how to optimise each part of the drug, designing and synthesising nearly a thousand “second generation” molecules and sending the best of them to colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago for testing. In the process they also developed a new method for synthesising the drugs, which will simplify and reduce the cost of production.

TBA-354 emerged as the most promising candidate, with the greatest potency against TB. At the 52nd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in San Francisco this week the TB Alliance announced that TBA-354 had been selected for further development.

“New Zealand has an outstanding reputation in drug discovery and it’s exciting to see the ACSRC’s expertise in cancer drug development being used in the fight against one of the most devastating infectious diseases in the world,” says Professor Rod Dunbar, Director of the Maurice Wilkins Centre. “Skills honed over decades at the ACSRC with a focus on cancer have been very elegantly applied to a completely different kind of disease, showing how broadly our clever scientists can apply their expertise.”

TB is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest infectious killer worldwide, and while with most cases and deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, it is a major health concern in the Asia-Pacific region. Treatment regimens are complex, lengthy and challenging to follow and the disease is developing resistance to current antibiotics, especially in its persistent form. If a potent new drug like TBA-354 proves more effective against TB than current treatments it has the potential to reduce the duration, cost and side-effects of treatment.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>

ALSO:

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

ALSO:

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news