New 'superbug' approach relies on decoy DNA

A team of scientists in the UK have designed a genetic tool that can disable genes equipped with antibiotic resistance, an approach that could scuttle superbugs like MRSA. And the researchers at John Innes Center have created a spinoff company--Procarta Biosystems--to commercialize their discovery. The key to their work involved taking a stretch of DNA from bacterium that disrupts gene activity and adding it to an antibiotic. The U.S. market for combating antibiotic resistance amounts to $5 billion and is growing as lethal superbugs continue to spread.

"The DNA sequence acts as a decoy, disrupting gene expression and blocking resistance," said Michael McArthur, head of the research team. "We are putting genetic information directly into drugs."

- check out the report from the Financial Times

Related Articles:
Dry antibiotic pipeline concerns infectious disease experts. Report
Clues shed light on fighting lethal MRSA strain. Report
Study finds alarming spread of MRSA. Report
Superdrug given wider scope in Europe. Report