HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – October 11, 2023 – A new antibiotic drug developed by a research team led by Professor Li Xuechen from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) recently obtained approval from authorities for undergo clinical trials on the continent.
The new drug, which took the research team ten years to develop and which bears the name
Kynomycinreceived the “Notice of Clinical Drug Trial Approval” from the National Medical Products Administration of China to be tested on human subjects.
The new antibiotic drug targets complex skin and soft tissue infections (cSSTIs) caused by bacteria. It is a new type of Category 1 cyclic lipopeptide drug with a new chemical structure. The patent is licensed to a mainland pharmaceutical company by HKU’s Technology Transfer Office through the university’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Versitech Limited.
Skin and soft tissue infections are very common bacterial infectious diseases in clinical practice, often leading to emergency room visits and hospitalizations. With the emergence of clinically resistant strains and the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria, therapeutic options have become increasingly limited.
The development of this drug aims to improve the safety and effectiveness of cyclic lipopeptide antibiotics and provide a new choice for clinical treatment. After obtaining approval for this clinical trial, the drug must still undergo Phase I, II and III clinical trials and be evaluated and approved by the National Medical Products Administration before it can be produced and marketed.
Professor Li Xuechen’s research lies at the interface of synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and biology, ranging from the development of innovative synthetic methods to biological studies and drug discovery, with the ultimate goal of developing new therapies.
Professor Li received the Contribution to Carbohydrate Chemistry Award from the Chinese Chemical Society (CCS) in May this year, recognizing his pioneering contributions in precision chemical synthesis, chemical biology and the development of therapeutic glycoconjugates of glycoproteins and bacterial complex carbohydrates. He was also awarded the Research Grants Council Senior Research Fellowship 2023/24, which funds his continued research into the synthesis and application of chemically synthesized proteins.
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