Simon Fraser University announced on March 3, 2020 that researchers in its Brinkman Laboratory have collaborated with U.S. researchers to analyze a new drug that can kill a wide range of superbugs. (Simon Fraser University photo)

Human trials underway after B.C. researchers analyze effects of new ‘superbug-killing compound’

Brinkman Lab in Burnaby helped analyze effects of new drug after University of Cincinnati discovery

Researchers at Simon Fraser University’s Brinkman Lab in Burnaby participated in a landmark study that tests how a new drug can kill a range of superbugs – including some bacteria now resistant to all common antibiotics.

According to a March 3 release, researchers at the University of Cincinnati discovered two inexpensive chemicals work to kill disease-causing bacteria more effectively when combined.

The U.S. researchers combined the chemicals — ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and acidified nitrite — to create the new drug known as AB569.

ALSO READ: B.C. widow sues health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed husband

SFU researchers then used computers to analyze data from bacteria treated with the new drug. The results from the study indicated the drug can kill pathogens identified by the World Health Organization as urgently requiring new treatments, and posing the greatest threat to human health.

For example, the top three “priority pathogens” include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacteria that can cause infections in the lungs, urinary tract, or blood that is known as the leading cause of morbidity in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Erin Gill, a PhD researcher at the University of British Columbia during the study and now at the Brinkman Lab, was involved in the analysis. She told Black Press Media by phone that it was inspiring to be part of “such a large, collaborative project.”

“It’s really important work to be able to contribute to the discovery of potentially novel drugs that can help to kill bacteria, because we’re running out of them,” Gill said.

The lab’s lead database developer Geoff Winsor agreed.

“We have a growing crisis with antibiotics becoming less and less effective, and treatments are failing,” Winsor said. “That’s why it’s important to test and develop new drugs and approaches to treat disease-causing bacteria that are highly resistant to existing antibiotics.”

The new drug is currently in the first phase of human trials that are being managed by Toronto-based biotechnology firm Arch Biopartners.

“I think they’re going to have some results from that soon,” Winsor said.

ALSO READ: SFU reviewing security measures after data breach exposes personal information

Correction: This story has been updated. The University of Cincinnati was responsible for testing the new AB569 drug, not the SFU Brinkman Lab.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

SFU

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canadian police to make home visits to enforce mandatory quarantine for travellers

Police forces have been asked to help verify Canadians are complying with the Quarantine Act

COVID-19: Front line workers remind us we all play a part in keeping virus at bay

Long-term care facility nurse Christine Mack says the virus would be “devastating” for her patients

COVID19: 94th Williams Lake Stampede officially cancelled for 2020 due to pandemic

Stampede directors hope to host a community event in the fall if possible

‘It’s job No. 1 right now’: B.C.’s Harmac Pacific providing pulp for critical medical supplies

Bryan Reid Sr. of Williams Lake said they received a call of thanks from Canada’s Chrystia Freeland

All BC Parks closing in response to COVID-19

This temporary measure means people should not be going to provincial parks until further notice

VIDEO: Easter festivities may be scaled back, but it can still be a fun holiday

COVID-19 circumstances have dictated that the holidays may not be perfect

B.C. jails grant early release for close to 100 inmates due to COVID-19

The move, which impacts offenders serving intermittent sentences, is to prevent spread of virus

COVID-19 world update: U.S. to start antibody tests; drones enforce lockdown in Italy

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world

Lower Mainland hunting store sees 200% increase in firearm sales

Co-owner of Wanstalls says increase due to a variety of reasons

People needing addiction services feeling ‘abandoned’ during pandemic

The province is trying to increase access to addiction care through a phone line of experts, doctors

COVID-19: B.C. ER nurse self-isolates in travel trailer, apart from family

Marcia Kent says situation is difficult but worth it to keep twin boys safe

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

Chiefs and mayors call for measures to protect coastal communities

18 leaders have signed the letter addressed to political leaders

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Most Read