CIDR, GlaxoSmithKline identify potential tuberculosis treatments
They have stated that antifolates may have potential in the discovery of effective treatments. Antifolates are most commonly used in chemotherapy treatments in treating infections caused by bacteria, parasites and fungi. A form of this compound is also approved to treat leprosy cases. Researchers found that analogues of the antifolate utilized in cancer treatments, chemotherapeutic methotrexate had shown improved activity against a tuberculosis culture.
“Our next steps are to expand the chemistry around these molecules to identify compounds that could ultimately be administered effectively in humans,” David Sherman, CIDR professor, said. “These compounds could literally be lifesavers for millions of people.”
According to Sherman, tuberculosis leads to an average of approximately 1.5 million fatalities globally on an annual basis and current treatment methods are diminishing in their efficacy against the disease.
Through their research, the team was able to identify 17 active antifolate compounds that have potential for treatment.
”The partnership with GSK was critical to the success of this project,” Sherman said. “We thought we could identify antifolates with strong activity on [Mycobacterium tuberculosis], but we needed to collaborate with a leading edge pharmaceutical company to actually find them.”