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A new tool against antibiotic resistance
December 2017
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LONDON—Helperby Therapeutics recently shared news of what it thinks could be a solution to antibiotic resistance: antibiotic resistance breakers (ARBs). The technology “rejuvenates existing antibiotics into long-term effective combination therapies,” according to a news release. The ARBs can pierce the cell wall of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and other superbugs to enable last-resort antibiotics such as carbapenems and colistin to attack. This process can purportedly be performed repeatedly on combinations of existing antibiotics. Helperby says its ARBs meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) criteria for new antibiotic protection—absence of cross-resistance to existing antibiotics, new chemical class, new target, new mechanism of action—and the company has two formats of ARB combination in development in six programs.
 
“Helperby’s Antibiotic Resistance Breakers are an imminent solution to all three of the critical priority pathogens as identified by the WHO,” said Prof. Anthony Coates, Helperby’s founder and chief scientific officer. “We are potentially just three to five years away from the market.”

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