AstraZeneca has linked up with the USA's FOB Synthesis for the development of a novel antibiotic to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections.

The treatment will potentially combine compounds from AstraZeneca’s preclinical beta lactamase inhibitor (BLI) and FOB’s preclinical carbapenem antibiotic programmes to help break down bacteria’s resistance to the latter.

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will develop combinations of compounds through Phase I and have responsibilty for development and commercialisation if it decides to take up options on the combo. Financial details have not been disclosed.

FOB notes that carbapenem antibiotics have been used widely for bacterial infections but the drug resistance bacteria have reduced the value of antibacterial chemotherapy recently. In addition, the carbapenem-resistant of gram-negative bacteria such as Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, E.coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa "have accordingly increased all over the world", the Georgia-based firm says, and "combining a carbapenem with a BLI may allow a novel treatment of the multi-drug resistant bacteria".