Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers have developed a novel antibiotic treatment for human genetic diseases, including cystic fibrosis (CF).
By modifying the properties of the antibiotic gentamicin, commonly used to treat bacterial infections, the researchers claim to have developed a novel treatment for many human genetic diseases, including cystic fibrosis (CF), Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Usher Syndrome and numerous cancers.
Gentamicin belongs to a class of antibiotics called aminoglycosides.
The team led by Professor Timor Baasov of the Technion Faculty of Chemistry have modified existing aminoglycoside antibiotic drugs, and carefully monitored biological and toxicity tests of the resulting derivatives.
They came across "NB54," a new chemical derivative of gentamicin.
"We've created a new purpose for aminoglycosides by removing their traditional, natural actions as antibiotics," said Baasov.
"The loss of their antibacterial activity makes them highly selective, less toxic, and allows for their use in repairing 'wrong' genes in human beings," he added.
The findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.