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Leiden Early Drug Discovery & Development

A much-needed new class of antibiotics

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the phenomenon that pathogens become insensitive to the antibiotics that we use against them. A growing number of pathogens is becoming resistant, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) as the most famous example. But while the threat of AMR represents a slow-moving pandemic, the development of next generation therapies to combat AMR is moving at an even slower pace.

The empty pipeline of new anti-infective drugs is due largely to a lack of incentives for activities in this sector by major drug companies. For this reason non-profit research institutes, NGOs, and SMEs are currently continuing the fight. In this regard, the LED3 community offers a valuable network through which next generation therapeutics to fight infectious disease can be discovered, validated, and progressed towards (pre)clinical development.

LED3 researchers discover potent antibiotic against MRSA

To put those words into action, we have recently discovered a new class of antibiotics. These new antibiotics, potent semi-synthetic glycopeptides, exhibit exceptional activity against MRSA and a range of vancomycin-resistant organisms. Leiden University has recently patented this new class of semi-synthetic glycopeptides and the lead compounds are now undergoing pre-clinical evaluation for the treatment of infections associated with difficult to treat and/or drug resistant Gram-positive pathogens. 

This research illustrates the activities of LED3 researchers in infectious disease. The new antibiotics being developed hold the promise to treat multi-drug resistant infections of the future. 

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