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SELECTBIO Conferences Drug Discovery India 2016


Identification of Potential Drug Molecules for Melioidosis Treatment

Thomas Antony, Research Director, Aurigene Discovery Technologies Limited

Melioidosis is a tropical bacterial infection caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bpm), a gram negative bacterium which affects both humans and animals. This disease is prevalent in Northern Australia, India and South East Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. The chronic form of meliodosis can affect the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, joints, and eyes. Clinical manifestation of severe form of melioidosis is septic shock, which is often seen with pneumonia. Current treatment options include IV and oral dosing with a combination of antibiotics that can last for many months. The bacterium is intrinsically resistant to a wide range of antimicrobials, and mortality rate for melioidosis ranges from 40 to 75%, despite the proper use of antimicrobial therapy. Recent estimates suggest that there will be ~165000 human melioidosis cases per year worldwide, from which ~89000 people die. Diabetes mellitus is a major risk factor for melioidosis, and most of the counties affected with this disease have very high prevalence of diabetes. All these factors emphasize the need for the development of new therapeutic agents to treat melioidosis. The progress made at Aurigene in identifying new chemical entities targeting the bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis, which can be potentially developed as drug molecules to treat melioidosis will be presented.

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