Anti-infective agents

The World Health Organization has identified antimicrobial resistance as one of the three greatest threats to human health. Unfortunately, many large pharmaceutical companies have discontinued their antibiotic discovery and development programs. With a marked decline in the discovery of new antimicrobials, the world is now facing an enormous and growing threat from the emergence of bacteria that are resistant to almost all available antibiotics.

As stated by the Infectious Diseases Society of America in their 'Bad Bugs, No Drugs' paper: "As antibiotic discovery stagnates, a public health crisis brews." There is therefore an urgent need to discover novel antimicrobials and develop innovative strategies for better use of available antibiotics to combat the global antimicrobial resistance crisis.

D4 research targets severe diseases including malaria, sleeping sickness, Hendra, Ebola, influenza and bacterial superbug infections. The focus of our research is twofold:

  • optimisation of clinical use of anti-infectives using pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic/toxicodynamic approaches
  • discovery of novel antibacterials utilising in vitro and animal infection models, and biochemical, molecular imaging, molecular biology, molecular histology, pharmacometric, systems biology and translational pharmacology approaches

D4's antimicrobial discovery and optimisation programs are supported by the US National Institutes of Health (>US$20M), the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.

D4's anti-infective programs focus on the following areas: