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

IN IT TOGETHER: We mammals are in this together and will thrive together

An Albion meditation and mindfulness instructor suggests how we can navigate these chaotic times

Katzie First Nation enact a state of emergency

The inauguration ceremony for Chief and council at the end of April has been postponed

Pitt Meadows Maple Ridge MP to donate pay raise to charity

The annual adjustment will mean a gross annual increase of $3,700 from $178,900 to $182,600

Ridge Meadows doing its part to keep blood supply high

Clinics at Maple Ridge Alliance Church are booked through until May 1

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Captain America joins friendly Abbotsford Spider-Man to take down trash

Local garbage crew bringing smiles to city amid pandemic

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Most Read