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

 

Media: Fairfax Moves To Create Modern Newsroom

Fairfax Media New Zealand continues its newsroom transformation this week, with a proposal to further organise its editorial operations into focused, local teams and specialist national topic areas. More>>

ALSO:

Dairy: Fonterra Forecast For 2015/16 Season

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has today reduced its forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2014/15 season to $4.40 per kgMS. Along with its previously announced forecast dividend range of 20-30 cents per share, the change amounts to a forecast ... More>>

ALSO:

BusinessDesk: SkyCity Lifts Minimum Convention Centre Investment To $430M

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino operator, has lifted the minimum it will invest in the Auckland International Convention Centre to $430 million and said total costs including land may be $450 million to $470 million. More>>

Statistics: Drop In Dairy Prices Leads Fall In Exports

Total goods exports fell $240 million (5.5 percent) to $4.2 billion in April 2015 compared with April 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>


BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>

BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news