Developing antimicrobial peptide-drug conjugates to treat superbugs
Antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) pathogens are a growing global health concern, responsible for 1.27 million deaths in 2019. By 2050 AMR pathogens are expected to take the lives of 10 million people each year, with a global financial cost exceeding $US1 trillion. The current treatment of AMR pathogens requires lengthy, costly and, often dangerous, antibiotic regimes. Currently, AMR pathogens are circulating for every available antibiotic.
Long-term global use of antibiotics results in significant selection pressure on the target bacteria, leading to a favourable selection of resistant organisms and spreading AMR from person to person. Pharmaceutical companies are stepping away from antibiotic development due to the associated cost and short therapeutic window. Ineffective antibiotics enable AMR pathogens to survive in the host for longer, contributing to increased suffering, disability and mortality.
There is an urgent, unmet requirement for new antimicrobial agents that are active against AMR pathogens and are designed to reduce resistance development. This project will develop antimicrobial peptide-based antibiotics that will be effective against superbugs.