Preventing and diagnosing infection
Avoiding infections reduces the amount of antibiotics being used and the likelihood that resistance will develop. Many infections are still healthcare-acquired, most often arising from invasive devices. New antimicrobial coatings will help stop people acquiring life-threatening superbug infections from application of cannulas and catheters, through to long-term implants such as orthopaedics, pacemakers, cochlear implants, etc.
In order to better treat disease, we first need to accurately diagnose disease. We are developing next generation rapid and accurate diagnostics to identify superbugs so we can give the right drug to patients the first time.
New drugs against superbugs
Building on a suite of development candidate antibiotics from IMB, we will combine some of Australia’s best minds in drug design and discovery to fast-track development of new antibiotics. More than $20 million of research grants will form the backbone of an aggressive lead optimisation program to progress candidate antibiotics that can combat superbug infections. New antibiotics will focus on treating MRSA (Golden Staph), S. pneumoniae, C. difficile, Tuberculosis and the ESKAPE human pathogens.
Drugs that target the properties of bacteria that lead to virulence and adhesion properties that help them establish an infection may lead to treatments that do not induce resistance over time as the bacteria are not directly killed. Veterinary pathogen-specific antibacterial protein-based alternatives to growth promoters can be used to reduce the reliance of the agricultural industry on conventional antibiotics. These will be manufactured locally for direct inclusion in agricultural feeds in Australia and then for export to turn around our current account deficit arising from importation of more than 700 tonnes of antibiotics from overseas companies.
Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery
CO-ADD is a not-for-profit initiative led by IMB Cooper Research Group for academics. Our goal is to screen compounds from academic research groups from anywhere in the world for free. We aim to help researchers around the world to find new, diverse compounds to combat the superbug crisis.
Submit your compounds at www.co-add.org