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GEN News Highlights : Oct 11, 2006

Immtech Finds Compounds to Potentially Tackle Drug Resistance

Class of aromatic dications show activity against MRSA, MSSA, and VRE.
Immtech Pharmaceuticals scientists reported that in collaboration with its consortium partners they have identified a unique class of compounds with activity in treating antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive bacterial pathogens, or the super bugs.

"It is clear that there is an overwhelming need to develop new medicines because of growing resistance to current treatments,” says Norman Abood, Ph.D., vp, discovery programs. “We believe Immtech is uniquely positioned to advance new compounds from this class through optimization and preclinical phases in preparation for testing in the clinic, where a critical need exists for new novel agents".

Immtech scientists screened its chemical library and identified a class of aromatic dications with potent activity against a panel of methicillin-sensitive Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), methicillin-resistant Staph, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, according to the company. The team then performed a second round of testing on a more focused subclass of compounds to refine the structure-activity relationships for this new class.

Immtech says it will now continue with lead optimization and advanced testing in in vivo models of efficacy. The market for anti-MRSA antibiotics is expected to reach $2 billion in 2006, according to a May 2006 Episcom Business Intelligence report.