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

Kelowna glider pilot crashes in the Columbia Valley

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the circumstances of the crash

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

RCMP confirm fatality in Bootleg Mountain biking accident

Kimberley RCMP have confirmed there was a fatality in a mountain biking… Continue reading

No serious injuries reported after head-on collision near Fort Steele

Traffic was stopped for several hours on Highway 93 while police investigated.

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Most Read