Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is on the rise, and we urgently need new antibiotics capable of beating infections that are resistant to most existing treatments. Gepotidacin is a potential antibiotic that works differently to antibiotics in use today, and lab tests suggest it could be capable of treating many resistant infections. Currently, it is under development as a treatment for two common infections where AMR is a growing problem: urogenital gonorrhoea (which is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae) and acute urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli.
Now, the AB-DIRECT project aims to explore the potential of gepotidacin as a treatment for infections caused by N. gonorrhoeae or E. coli elsewhere in the body. Their starting point for this will be tissue samples taken from patients who have received a single dose of gepotidacin before surgery to remove their tonsils or prostate. This will allow the scientists to assess the extent to which the antibiotic gets into these tissues and to evaluate different dosing levels. They will also carry out studies of the drug in animals. Ultimately, the data generated by AB-DIRECT will contribute to a decision on whether or not to run clinical trials of gepotidacin as a treatment for throat infections caused by N. gonorrhoeae or prostate infections caused by E. coli.
AB-DIRECT is part of the AMR Accelerator programme.