A group of researchers led by Prof Kim Lewis of Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, has discovered a new antibiotic that eliminates MRSA and certain types of tuberculosis and pneumonia infections.
The new antibiotic, Teixobactin (tex o vakin) was discovered in 2015 and is the first new antibiotic identified in 30 years!
It works against many superbugs that terrify me and everyone I know because I didn’t think today’s drugs could wipe them out. The discovery is thrilling and overcomes the fears we’ve all experienced about superbugs and their resistance to current antibiotics.
But, there’s actually a bigger story and it’s called the Isolation Chip or IChip for short. It was invented by researchers from Northeastern University who faced a huge obstacle . . . . 99% of bacterial species on earth are not able to be cultured as they don’t grow in conditions made in a lab.
Instead, IChip cultures bacterial species in a sample of soil or water from their natural environments. When the bacteria release antibiotics, scientists can isolate them for testing.
And the news just gets better. Incredibly, the iChip has been used to culture thousands of new bacteria, which have so far yielded 25 antibiotics.
According to NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals, a company co-founded by one of the researchers, the first of those is roughly two years from clinical trials.
The glory days of discovering new antibiotics is back!