By Barry Ellsworth
Canadian scientists have discovered the first new antibiotic in 30 years and preliminary research suggests it could be a major advance in fighting superbugs, Canadian media reported Thursday.
The research by two doctors at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg in the province of Manitoba was published Thursday in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.
Although clinical tests need to be completed and the drug, named PEG-2S, is years away from being available to the public, it shows promise in tackling at least two of the superbugs that the World Health Organization describes as one of the greatest threats to world population. Superbugs are bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics.
“It is predicted that by about 2030, all of the antibiotics that we use today to treat bacteria and bacterial infections will no longer be effective,” Dr. Grant Pierce, executive director of research at St. Boniface, said, as reported by CTV News. The research was conducted by Pierce and Dr. Pavel Dibrov.
In preliminary tests, the drug was effective against the sexual disease chlamydia, pneumonia, Legionnaires’ disease, gingivitis and periodontitis, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
The two doctors have applied for patent approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They then plant to begin testing on animals and, provided those tests go well, trials on humans.