One of my favourite blogs, actually advertised somewhere here in my blog, is called the 'Antibiotics - The Perfect Storm'. They just published a very current and important post on the antibiotic research dilemma and I had to leave them with my opinion. Who do I think I am to just go on leaving my opinion everywhere like that? I'm a guy completely in love with antibiotic research and bacterial toxigenesis. Please find the original post entitled "The New Antibiotic Paradox" HERE, and my opinion transcribed below. Feel free to also discuss the matter hereby if you will.
After a PhD where I was working with synthetic antagonists for Pseudomonas' PqsR, I am inclined to believe that the solution is not entirely about a novel funding strategy. Firstly, the governments must be on the front drive of the train leading by example, doing exactly what the private market is not willing to do. That is why governments exist in the first place (sorry for the obvious exaggeration), but the reality is that a society should always be able to resort to governmental strategies to tackle eminent problems. Waiting for the private market to find a solution for something that is yet a 'somewhat distant' issue will do us no good. Unless nature creates an urgent need for reaction, the private market won't even research a tangible answer for the hypothetical need for antibiotics. The reality is that the media see these new 'iatrogenic superbugs' as something distant and mysterious, when they're just around the corner, waiting for that window of opportunity to really get us with our pants down.
I see the model differently. I see it as a proper research program throughout state universities focusing on a scheme that could be inexpensive and fast. I talk about merging two ideas, 1) the modelling of computerised protein-binding predictions with subsequent testing in live cultures of these developed synthetic molecules, and 2) 'in silico' production of what I'd like to call 'intelligent & versatile' synthetic molecules that with minor changes can rapidly counteract enzymatic inhibition. In what comes to the second point, as far as I could learn from my own research experience and the recent worldwide research on Pseudomonas aeruginosa PqsR antagonists, most of the success comes from using not only halogen particles (F, Cl, Br, I...) and the non-metal sulfur. Additionally, the location of these functional groups, be it on the vicinity of the core structure or along the core structure, is also very important. As it is their distance to the main aromatic clusters!!! The moment we build an intelligent portfolio of easily intra-changeable synthetic antagonists of bacterial virulence pathways, we will open the door to a new world.
Am I right in thinking that? Well, I believe so. But I'd love to hear from experts in this area.