Simon Fraser University announced on March 3, 2020 that researchers in its Brinkman Laboratory have collaborated with U.S. researchers to analyze a new drug that can kill a wide range of superbugs. (Simon Fraser University photo)

Simon Fraser University announced on March 3, 2020 that researchers in its Brinkman Laboratory have collaborated with U.S. researchers to analyze a new drug that can kill a wide range of superbugs. (Simon Fraser University photo)

Human trials underway after B.C. researchers analyze effects of new ‘superbug-killing compound’

Brinkman Lab in Burnaby helped analyze effects of new drug after University of Cincinnati discovery

Researchers at Simon Fraser University’s Brinkman Lab in Burnaby participated in a landmark study that tests how a new drug can kill a range of superbugs – including some bacteria now resistant to all common antibiotics.

According to a March 3 release, researchers at the University of Cincinnati discovered two inexpensive chemicals work to kill disease-causing bacteria more effectively when combined.

The U.S. researchers combined the chemicals — ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and acidified nitrite — to create the new drug known as AB569.

ALSO READ: B.C. widow sues health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed husband

SFU researchers then used computers to analyze data from bacteria treated with the new drug. The results from the study indicated the drug can kill pathogens identified by the World Health Organization as urgently requiring new treatments, and posing the greatest threat to human health.

For example, the top three “priority pathogens” include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacteria that can cause infections in the lungs, urinary tract, or blood that is known as the leading cause of morbidity in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Erin Gill, a PhD researcher at the University of British Columbia during the study and now at the Brinkman Lab, was involved in the analysis. She told Black Press Media by phone that it was inspiring to be part of “such a large, collaborative project.”

“It’s really important work to be able to contribute to the discovery of potentially novel drugs that can help to kill bacteria, because we’re running out of them,” Gill said.

The lab’s lead database developer Geoff Winsor agreed.

“We have a growing crisis with antibiotics becoming less and less effective, and treatments are failing,” Winsor said. “That’s why it’s important to test and develop new drugs and approaches to treat disease-causing bacteria that are highly resistant to existing antibiotics.”

The new drug is currently in the first phase of human trials that are being managed by Toronto-based biotechnology firm Arch Biopartners.

“I think they’re going to have some results from that soon,” Winsor said.

ALSO READ: SFU reviewing security measures after data breach exposes personal information

Correction: This story has been updated. The University of Cincinnati was responsible for testing the new AB569 drug, not the SFU Brinkman Lab.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

SFU

Just Posted

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Langford man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

Police dog Obi assisted in an arrest Tuesday night after a man reportedly damaged a Victoria restaurant with a large steel beam. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Police dog called in after Victoria restaurant damaged with steel beam

Suspect reportedly entered restaurant and started damaging walls

Police dog Hitch helped arrest a man who had reportedly threatened the security guards of a Victoria shopping centre with a knife on June 15. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Man with knife arrested after reportedly threatening Bay Centre security guards

The K9 unit’s police dog, Hitch, was deployed to assist with the arrest

O.K. Industries is building a quarry next to Capital Regional District land, as shown in this map from the rezoning applicaiton. (Photo courtesy District of Highlands)
Millstream Quarry wins again in court against Highlands community’s appeal

Judges rule province not obligated to investigate climate change before issuing permit

GardenWorks nursery in Oak Bay at its home until August. (Black Press Media file photo)
GardenWorks puts down new roots in Oak Bay this summer

Nursery shifts down The Avenue to fill former fitness studio space

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts was found dead near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New residential school healing centre to be built near Duncan

$5-million Indigenous treatment centre will help survivors of residential schools heal

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Vancouver Island lottery players win $1 million and $500,000 in Lotto Max draw

$1 million ticket sold in Campbell River, $500,000 ticket sold in Nanaimo

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Most Read