BRITISH scientists are working on a drug that could herald a breakthrough in efforts to cure MRSA.
Researchers are carrying out trials of a bactericidal compound, which they claim kills bacteria, with a view to developing a product for use in hospitals within three years.
Most antibiotics used to treat hospital bugs such as MRSA are bacteriostatic, meaning they prevent the growth of bacteria.
Brighton-based pharmaceutical company Destiny Pharma believes its compound — codenamed XF-73 — could hold the key to stamping out the potentially-fatal bug.
A study showed, even after 55 repeat exposures, MRSA bacteria did not develop resistance to the drug — which is applied as a gel into patients’ noses — as it does to antibiotics.
The research was led by Destiny Pharma’s chief executive Dr Bill Love.
“If it goes through clinical trials successfully, it really is a completely fundamental breakthrough,” he said.
He said he hoped NHS strategic health authorities would be willing to pay for XF-73 if it was approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
The company said: “Destiny Pharma has completed its Phase I clinical trials and this result is the latest of many which have shown XF-73’s high potential.”
The firm presented its findings to the EU Congress on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Barcelona last month.
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