The World Needs New Antibiotics

by Robert Buckheit, Jr., Ph.D., President and CSO

October 10, 2014

Antibiotic resistance is an inevitable outcome of the evolutionary principle that organisms will mutate to escape lethal selective pressure. As long as antibiotics are used to kill bacteria, resistance will continue to emerge.  

-NIAID's Antibacterial Resistance Program: Current Status and Future Directions 2014

ImQuest BioSciences has significantly enhanced our capabilities to define and characterize new and improved antibiotics, using a combination of in vitro and in vivo technologies. In addition to our standardized screening of agents against wild type and resistant microorganisms, we have significant capability to evaluate the ability of new antimicrobial agents to inhibit biofilm formation.

We believe the development of new antimicrobial agents will be a critical need in pharmaceutical drug development for the foreseeable future. As drug-resistant bacteria strains continue to emerge and the antibiotic options to treat these bacterial infections shrink, the pressure to find new types of effective drugs increases.

The foundation of ImQuest’s platform for identification and development of new experimental compounds consists of a select panel of clinically relevant wild-type and antibiotic resistant microorganisms to assess the efficacy, range and mechanism of antimicrobial activity as well as mechanisms of resistance.  A representative selection of antibiotic resistant bacteria from our library was characterized for their sensitivity to control antibiotics. Phenotypes included extended spectrum β-lactamase producers (ESBL), New Dehli Metallo-β-lactamase producers (NDM-1) and penicillin, methicillin (MRSA), vancomycin (VISA, VRSA), and linezolid resistance.

Biofilm formation among individual organisms or microbial communities provides an effective method for pathogenic bacteria to thrive in the body and a means to reduce their antibiotic susceptibility. Thus technology must advance to combat these biofilms and define methods to prevent their formation or destroy them once formed.

To meet those demands, ImQuest BioSciences offers MicroSENS, a full service antimicrobial agent development program uniquely combining in vitro, ex vivo and animal model evaluations.  Our MicroSENS program facilitates the rapid evaluation of compounds in well-established in vitro assays and extends the evaluation of active compounds to relevant antimicrobial animal models.                                                  Learn More

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