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Biochem Pharmacol. 2006 Mar 30;71(7):910-8. Epub 2006 Jan 19.

Practical applications and feasibility of efflux pump inhibitors in the clinic--a vision for applied use.

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Mpex Pharmaceuticals Inc., 3030 Bunker Hill Street, San Diego, CA 92109, USA.


The world of antibiotic drug discovery and development is driven by the necessity to overcome antibiotic resistance in common Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens. However, the lack of Gram-negative activity among both recently approved antibiotics and compounds in the developmental pipeline is a general trend despite the fact that the plethora of covered drug targets are well-conserved across the bacterial kingdom. Such intrinsic resistance in Gram-negative bacteria is largely attributed to the activity of multidrug resistance (MDR) efflux pumps. Moreover, these pumps also play a significant role in acquired clinical resistance. Together, these considerations make efflux pumps attractive targets for inhibition in that the resultant efflux pump inhibitor (EPI)/antibiotic combination drug should exhibit increased potency, enhanced spectrum of activity and reduced propensity for acquired resistance. To date, at least one class of broad-spectrum EPI has been extensively characterized. While these efforts indicated a significant potential for developing small molecule inhibitors against efflux pumps, they did not result in a clinically useful compound. Stemming from the continued clinical pressure for novel approaches to combat drug resistant bacterial infections, second-generation programs have been initiated and show early promise to significantly improve the clinical usefulness of currently available and future antibiotics against otherwise recalcitrant Gram-negative infections. It is also apparent that some changes in regulatory decision-making regarding resistance would be very helpful in order to facilitate approval of agents aiming to reverse resistance and prevent its further development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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