This site is intended for health professionals only

Drug "may hold cure to MRSA bug"

A Brighton-based pharmaceutical firm is working on a new drug that it claims could hold the key to curing MRSA.

The bactericidal compound, codenamed XF-73, has been manufactured by Destiny Pharma, which says the drug actually kills bacteria unlike most antibiotics which only prevent its growth.

The drug, applied as a gel into patients' noses, killed the five most common MRSA strains in laboratory tests and, despite 55 exposures, no strain developed resistance to the drug in the same way it does to antibiotics.

Destiny Pharma's chief executive Dr Bill Love, told the Independent on Sunday: "If it goes through clinical trials successfully, it really is a completely fundamental breakthrough. The potential is really quite amazing."

He said he hoped NHS strategic health authorities, responsible for commissioning treatment and deep cleans, would be willing to pay for XF-73 if it was approved by the NICE, the paper reported.

Derek Butler, chairman of the campaign group MRSA Action, cautiously welcomed the development and called on the government to provide more funding for research into reducing infections.

He said: "We are interested in anything in the development of cures or treatment for MRSA. However, we have reservations. I think more tests need to be done on it."

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Destiny Pharma