Galapagos NV has discovered a new class of antibiotics and has selected a candidate drug, CAM-1, that shows strong activity against all tested drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus, including hospital and community acquired MRSA strains. MRSA is a potentially life-threatening infection that occurs most frequently among patients in hospitals.
This antibiotic works by inhibiting the target DNA pol III alpha, an enzyme present in all bacteria and essential for their growth; this target is absent in humans. CAM-1 was tested against more than 250 different bacterial strains and effectively killed 100% of all drug resistant Staph. aureus, including MRSA, according to the company. Galapagos plans to initiate trials in the first quarter 2014.
"Selection of a candidate antibiotic in our MRSA development program is an important step toward realizing the full potential of our unique anti- bacterial program," said Dr. Piet Wigerinck, chief scientific officer of Galapagos. "Our antibiotics have a novel mode of action which brings all tested MRSA strains to a complete halt. Combined with a diagnostic test, these compounds could bring a real solution to MRSA infections."