The leading startup that focuses on the drugs which would tackle the issues of drug resistance.
The world of medicine has progressed significantly. Every day, we witness the emergence of a new drug. Today, we almost have drugs for every symptom of a disease. But, we aren’t able to eradicate diseases yet. Have you given a thought, why such a situation? The answer is “drug-resistance”.
Drug resistance is the decrease in the ability of medicine like an antimicrobial drug in treating a disease. Antimicrobial resistance challenges clinical management and also enhances research. When an organism becomes resistant to one or more drugs, it is then said to be “multidrug-resistant”.
Many diseased conditions cannot be treated effectively. This is because many potent microorganisms become powerful and are able to surpass the drug effect. Hence, the discovery of new drugs for diseases resistance by bacteria have kept scientists on toes.
Recent data suggest that at least 2 million Americans fall ill from antimicrobial-resistant pathogens every year, of which 23, 000 people succumbed to these infections. Antimicrobial resistance also continues to increase in Europe, especially in gram-negative bacterial pathogens. This excess death attributed to resistant hospital infections exceeds 25,000 deaths annually.
Bacteria are of two types one characterized by cell envelope, known as the gram-negative bacteria and the other type lacks this envelope, called gram-positive bacteria. The gram-negative bacteria are characterized by their cell envelopes, which are made up of a thin peptidoglycan cell wall. It is placed in between an inner cytoplasmic cell membrane and a bacterial outer membrane.
This outer membrane safeguards the bacteria from many drugs like penicillin and due to the presence of this membrane, they become resistant to the drug. We need new organizations, companies, and scientists to work towards understanding the physiological and biochemical pathways associated with the development of drug resistance of such microbes.
Bugworks is one of the leading startups, which focuses on antimicrobial activity for developing novel drugs to achieve this objective. Their aim is to discover novel pharmaceutical assets for combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Such drugs will help to cure the disease condition without any obstacles by the microbes.
Bugworks is an amalgamation of entrepreneurship, mathematics, engineering, computer science, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmacology, and medicinal chemistry.
Bugworks Research is led by CEO Dr Anand Anandkumar located in Bengaluru, Karnataka along with his friends Santanu Datta, V Balasubramanian. They aim to develop a new class of antibiotics against gram-negative bacteria and to be the first innovator of safe, effective and robust antibiotics targeting gram-negative bacteria. These antibiotics are designed to clearly resist bacteria and act on all known forms of drug-resistant bacteria.
Bugworks research has received funding from CARB-X, a public-private initiative that supports the worldwide development of new antibacterial agents against multidrug-resistant infections. It has progressed to earn a good amount of revenue for the company.
CARB-X received 800 requests for financial assistance but only 50 companies were selected for funding, of which 10 had drug candidates with completely new mechanisms of action; Bugworks was one of them. NIH has also given grants for their project entitled “Combating resistant superbugs by understanding the molecular determinants of target site penetration and binding”. Bugworks has authored 21 research articles to date.
At Bugworks the drug candidates are in their pre-clinical drug trials. The company has received many accolades, Economic Times published an article saying, ‘Bugworks Research wins Top Innovator at ET Startup Awards 2017’. The Telegraph quoted “Antibiotic resistance: the small Indian biotech hoping to solve a big problem”. In the future, Bugworks will be known to be one of the top companies in the world for pioneering in the field of drug resistance.
Editor: Anomitra Dey
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(13)70086-X