Sci­en­tists Wednesday unveiled a drug com­bi­na­tion that destroys antibiotic-​​resistant germs in mice, poten­tially opening a new front against chronic and relapsing infec­tions in humans.

Big Pharma had been closely inter­ested in a com­pound dubbed acyldep­sipep­tide (ADEP), only to drop it when some germs became resis­tant to it.

But sci­en­tists in the United States reported that, when used along­side con­ven­tional antibi­otics, ADEP proved to be a relent­less killer.

We decided to pair it to con­ven­tional antibi­otics.… to stem the prop­a­ga­tion of (drug) resis­tant cells,” said study co-​​author Kim Lewis of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in Boston.

The com­bi­na­tion “com­pletely ster­ilised” bac­teria in a Petri dish and in mice whose thighs had been severely infected, said Lewis.

Effi­cacy in an animal model is actu­ally a pretty good pre­dictor of effi­cacy in humans, so I think it is entirely real­istic” that a drug may result, he added.

Humans rely on antibi­otics to fight off a vast array of bac­te­rial dis­eases, from ton­sil­litis to tuberculosis.

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