A latest research has shown that, chemical compounds that were discarded way back in the 1940s have been found to be useful in developing new antibiotics.
During the mid-20th century, many different chemical compounds with antibacterial properties were examined, but only a small proportion were selected for development into drugs.
With modern-day diseases becoming increasingly resistant to existing drugs, scientists are now re-examining these old compounds to test more precisely whether they could hold the key to a future drug.
Scientists at University of Leeds are working on a family of compounds, known as actinorhodins, which was originally identified as having weak antibiotic properties, and was not taken forward for development of functional products.
Professors Alex O’Neill and Chris Rayner from the University’s School of Chemistry have published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.
They believe the compound is worth serious consideration as the basis for a new drug to combat certain types of bacterial infections.
Scientists have said that by studying compounds which have antibacterial properties, as shown by past research, there is scope to fast-track the challenging early stages of drug discovery.
At the time, scientists did not understand how it was able to stop the growth, but Webb and his team have proved it is driven by Vitamin B5, which is used to metabolise energy.
Bacteria have to make B5 and a key part of the machinery they use to do so is called the PanDZ complex.