There was a time not too long ago when the prick of a broken twig could mean a septic death within weeks. Infections were a crap shoot of time and hope. But, after the discovery of Penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, those kind of worries no longer applied. In the decades that followed, scientists used the 1% of microbial bacteria that could be cultured in a lab, to produce a series of subsequent antibiotics that introduced an array of medical defenses against infection. From 1928 to 1987, Doctors had a plethora of swords with which to fight against bacteria, making all sorts of medical mainstays safer, especially surgery. For cosmetic surgeries and procedures where open wounds are prevalent, anything that could weaken your immune system is circumvented with antibiotic therapy. But just like all things in the world, the “bugs” that antibiotics combated, evolved. They’ve become resistant. Even worse, after 1987, the microbes used to create the antimicrobials were synthesized and studied to the point of exhaustion. No new combinations yielded any new families of medicine and thus, the great antibiotic drought ensued until now.
NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals, a Massachusetts company, has discovered a new way to culture microbes in soil, allowing them access to some of the other 99% of bacteria previously unreproducible in a lab. Using a revolutionary device called an Ichip, NovoBiotics has discovered a way to allow bacterium to grow naturally in a controlled environment, creating 25 new antimicrobials. One is particularly promising because of its resistance to resistance. Teixobactin kills target bacteria by binding itself to multiple targets within the cells, breaking down the membrane walls, thus killing the infection. It is quite effective against MRSA, Tuberculosis and pneumonia. Its only drawback being ineffective against gram negative bacteria like E.coli and gonorrhea.