A breakthrough tuberculosis (TB) treatment study led by Professor Greg Cook has been awarded funding in the latest round of Health Research Council (HRC) grant.
The study will look at the use of a drug known as amiloride, more commonly used for managing hypertension, as a potential treatment for TB. The project been awarded $1,186,405.
Drug-resistant strains of TB pose an increasing problem for health worldwide. Current treatment options are increasingly limited, expensive and ineffective, creating an urgent need for the development of new drugs. Inhibiting the energy generation capabilities of the causative bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has been shown to offer the greatest potential to shorten TB chemotherapy.
The goal of this study is to perform a structure-activity exploration of amiloride analogues against M. tuberculosis to identify potent new inhibitors of tuberculosis disease to combat drug resistance. The development of fast-acting drugs that combat all forms of TB disease will result in a reduction of the incidence of TB in New Zealand amongst those at greatest risk (e.g. Maori and Pacific Island descent) and individuals living in socioeconomically deprived areas (55% of all TB cases).