AMA: Mark Blaskovich of the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery

Artwork by Klari Reis, A Daily Dish

The Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery was created in 2015 to reach out to chemists, scientists, and researchers to consider screening novel compounds for antibiotic activity.

Drug resistance due to overreliance on a few antibiotics has created strains of bacteria that are becoming more and more difficult to treat.

Think of bacterial resistance like never eating red gummies. With each gummies box your stockpile of red gummies grows larger and larger. But you love gummies, so you keep eating them, and in years of time your kitchen..then your house, is packed to the brim with red gummies. You’ll need a friend who can stomach red gummies to help you. For the sake of the analogy, let’s pretend you can’t just throw the gummies out!

Bacterial resistance is similar, antibiotics target a mechanism that prevents the bacteria from surviving. Due to random mutations some bacteria don’t have this mechanism, or are unaffected by it. As the antibiotic is used more and more the mutated bacteria that are unaffected grow in population, eventually creating strains of these bacteria that the antibiotic no longer works against.

Read his AMA.

Artwork by Klari Reis, A Daily Dish

Mark Blaskovich is also a researcher and scientist, and has worked on a new class of anti-acne drugs that work to reduce activity of the melanocortin-5 receptor, which they found suppresses sebum production when applied to the skin.

Phase II clinical trials for this new anti-acne medication are currently looking for applicants, if you’re in the US, willing to be part of an experiment, have had difficulty with other acne treatments, and are comfortable with the risks of a new drug trial – this may be of interest to you! A Study to Determine the Efficacy of Topically Applied MTC896 Gel in Subjects With Acne Vulgaris

If this new drug works, and is safe, we may hopefully reduce the reliance on antibiotics for treating acne – which is also contributing to bacterial resistance.