China's Changzhou Fangyuan plans trials on hard-to-make generic superbug antibiotic

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Changzhou Fangyuan Pharma is ready for clinical trials in China to test its nearly decade-long work on a tricky-to-make semisynthetic, methicillin-resistant and gram-negative infection-fighting antibiotic.

The drug, Arbekacin, is seen as crucial in the battle against growing antibiotic resistance in the country.

China and other countries in Asia such as India, as well as globally, face blowback for decades of antibiotic overprescription that has spawned resistance in many patients.

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"The drug is expected to be put into production in 2018," according to a press release. "Arbekacin sulfate, a generic drug that is difficult to produce, is used to treat super bacteria, and has shown significant effectiveness since its launch in 1990."

China and India are at ground zero in Asia on overprescribing antibiotics, with efforts underway by governments in both countries to curb the practice. As well, former Goldman Sachs senior executive Jim O'Neill has led a high-profile push to curb overuse of antibiotics.

The company has had help via leading universities and state-backed research academies as well as foreign specialists who will work innovative drug development efforts in aminoglycosides, or antibacterial therapeutic agents that can reduce the side effects of antibiotics on the human body.

In addition, the company, housed in the Changzhou National Hi-Tech District's Life and Health Industrial Park, said other efforts are underway on two novel therapies for leukemia and colon cancer and four other generic drugs.

China has made a major push in biotech via hubs such as the Changzhou facility and other more well-known centers in Shanghai and Suzhou. The push seeks to marry startups with academic work with around 2,000 incubators nationwide and massive floor space housing research and manufacturing units as well as smaller support companies.

- here's the release

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