EPFL and AN Bach Institute develop effective antibiotic against multi-resistant TB

Scientists from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and the AN Bach Institute in Moscow recently discovered an antibiotic with strong properties against multi-resistant tuberculosis strains.

The drug was developed as part of the European FP7 project in an initiative to address multi-resistant TB, which is increasing in prevalence in Eastern Europe. The team of scientists developed the antibiotic, which has proven to be effective against the disease.

The results of the study, which were published in the EMBO Molecular Medicine journal, showed that the new treatment, called PBTZ169, is potent against even the strongest strains of multi-resistant TB when combined with other treatment drugs.

The researchers plan to bring the treatment to market to help fight the increasing demand for effective treatment against multi-resistant TB. To do so, they founded the IM4TB Foundation on campus - an initiative that is generally uncommon, as development and manufacturing costs are usually higher than educational institutions can afford.

EPFL said that it supports the IM4TB because it intends to develop the treatment without the limitations present in the pharmaceutical, or industrial, system.

"The development of antibiotics is increasingly expensive and the countries most affected by tuberculosis are still emergent," Benoit Lechartier, co-author of the PBTZ169 study, said. "The recent closure of the AstraZeneca research center in India illustrates the extent to which it is difficult for the pharmaceutical industry to invest in infectious diseases."