UK researchers launch free database of 'forgotten' antibiotics

A team of researchers based in the United Kingdom created a free, searchable database that can be used to find previously discontinued antibiotic agents, or 'forgotten' antibiotics. The database is called AntibioticDB.

The team created the tool to spur drug discovery. The researchers view discontinued agents as an untapped resource for antibiotics and believe they can be used to circumvent the spread of antibiotic resistance.

The database includes data on discovery, research, clinical trials and compounds awaiting approval. It also includes discontinued compounds, some dating back to the 1960s. The tool also provides information on why the development was discontinued.

The database was spearheaded Laura Piddock, PhD, a professor of microbiology with the University of Birmingham, and scientists from the John Innes Centre in Norwich, England.

"We wanted to establish the current status of the drug-discovery pipeline in antibiotic development — particularly to look at compounds that might have been dropped in the past to see if they could be resuscitated," said Tony Maxwell, PhD, a study author and project leader in biological chemistry with the John Innes Centre.

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