March 19, 2019 | 29° F

U. professor joins Scientific Advisory Board

Pharmaceutical companies are always researching new medications to more effectively treat patients.

One such company, Sideromics LLC, recently announced the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to help them develop a new drug.

David Perlin, executive director of the Public Health Research Institute (PHRI) of the New Jersey Medical School and member of this new board, said the company is pioneering an antimicrobial compound.

“(This drug) employs a completely new and novel ... approach,” he said in an email. “(It) is intended to treat patients with hospital-acquired bacteremia (and) acute bacterial skin and skin tissue infections.”

Bacteremia refers to bacterial pathogens found in the bloodstream.

The PHRI is designated a “national center for pathogen research” by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), making it one of thirteen such centers in the nation, according to a press release by NJMS.

Sideromics’ SAB intends to test the new medication’s efficacy against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) patients in hospitals as well as other bacteria that cause skin infections, Perlin said.

MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant pathogen according to an NIH website. This particular germ can spread through “skin-to-skin” contact and is more virulent with people whose immune systems are compromised, like hospital patients.

Staph bacteria can found on one in three humans, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The dangerous version of the bacteria can only be found on one in 50 people.

Fatality rates have been dropping over the last several years, but MRSA infections are still dangerous, according to the website.

This pharmaceutical company, which focuses on “novel antimicrobial compounds,” is now testing Siderocillin to see if it works against these bacteria, Perlin said.

The board was formed to garner opinions about how to best create and manufacture the compound, he said. While its only goal at the moment is to figure out the best way to produce the medication, its purpose might change later on.

“Most companies reach out to experts to help develop drug candidates,” Perlin said. “It is an efficient way to assess the value of a new drug candidate and how best to manage regulatory requirements.”

These boards can also be used to determine if a potential drug can be used at all if formed early enough, he said.

Siderocillin is a first-in-class compound, he said. This means not only that its active ingredient has never been used before, but neither has any variation of the compound.

Perlin has extensive experience in developing antimicrobial drugs, he said.

According to his biography, he focuses on fungal and bacterial infections, and he is known for his work with drug-resistant fungal infections.

He was also a special consultant when the Senate investigated the anthrax outbreak in 2001.

Nikhilesh De

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Targum.