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Shanghai Daily: Antibiotic to treat strain of superbug


By Cai Wenjun
Selected from: Shanghai Daily, November 11, 2010.


LOCAL scientists are developing an antibiotic, one of two medicines found to be effective, to treat a strain of superbug. Polymyxin, which was used in China in the 1970s, was effective in treating multi-drug-resistance superbug NDM-1,an enzyme called new Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase. But China has stopped its use for several years due to its strong renal toxicity.

But with rencet cases of NDM-1 rising in the world, local scientists and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have speeded research and development of a drug to battle the superbug.

Experts from Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry told a forum on superbug prevention and control yesterday that it is making a new antibiotic combining polymyxin and a chemical,which can greatly reduce side effects.Clinical tests are scheduled next year.

Another  useful  antibiotic,tigecycline, produced by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is not available in the mainland market so far. “We have applied to China’s State Food and Drug Administration and the medicine is expected to be marketed in the mainland soon,” said Xi Qing, a Pfizer spokesman in Shanghai.

While the two antibiotics are not available to local experts warned of an antibiotic abuse in the animal farming sector.

Officials from Shanghai Science and Technology Commission said the city is encouraging the development of biotechnology , which is also a highlight of this year’s China International Industry Fair.


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