How Roche is applying immunotherapy techniques to fight bacterial infections
- On Wednesday, Roche researchers published a paper in Nature online entitled, "Novel antibody–antibiotic conjugate eliminates intracellular S. aureus."
- The major point of the paper is that by using antibiotic-armed antibodies, researchers were able to kill Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) in mice, despite the fact that potent antibiotics often fail to kill S. aureus.
- This method was used in the development of Roche/Genentech's breast cancer drug Kadcyla.
Multi-drug resistant pathogens have become a serious challenge for infectious disease specialists and a major nosocomial killer. But now, researchers are finding new ways to target these hard-to-treat invaders.
By using targeting methods to seek out cancerous cells and kill them, oncologic researchers have been able to develop effective immunotherapeutic treatments for cancer, such as Kadcyla and Keytruda. Now researchers are turning their focus towards hard-to-treat bacterial infections.
Scientists' success in killing S. aureus in host cells is significant because multidrug-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is an extremely difficult-to-treat extracellular pathogen which colonizes host cells, thereby providing a protective reservoir against antibiotics.
This antibody–antibiotic conjugate technique looks promising, and could very well be one approach to finally combating the scourge of multi-drug resistant pathogens, including MRSA and others.