Backpackers in Bondi were pilloried for spreading COVID-19, but everyone knows gonorrhoea is a greater risk in the suburb’s sandy stews.

Antibiotic maker Recce Pharmaceuticals (ASX: RCE) says its lead candidate is proving to be effective against Neisseria gonorrhoeae, or gonorrhoea for short, in mice.

Gonorrhoea is the world’s second-most commonly sexually transmitted infection.

In Recce’s pre-clinical study the vaginal infection model met its primary endpoint of a reduction in bacterial load compared to a control on the seventh day after dosing.

Three groups of 10 female mice each showed RECCE 327 worked at dose levels of 100, 500 and 1000 mg/kg compared to Meropenem, a broad spectrum antibiotic, which was used at its optimum dose.

However, Recce noted that in practice Meropenem has high rates of bacterial resistance and this has recently led to restriction around its use.

Recce is developing a new class of antibiotics that its designing to target drug-resistant superbugs.

Gonorrhoea rapidly develops resistances to antibiotics and a range of treatments is now no longer used for the illness for this reason.

Disease centres stopped recommending using Penicillin and Tetracycline to treat gonorhhoea in the 1980s, Ciprofloxacin in 2007, and Cefixime as an initial treatment in 2012.

The World Health Organisation lists gonorrhoea as a priority pathogen on its list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health, while the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates drug-resistant gonorrhoea results in 550,000 infections each year from a total of 1.14 million infections annually.


In other news:

NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals (ASX: NSB) has received the final report for its glaucoma animal preclinical study, which delivered positive results around safety and efficacy in pigs in March, and is preparing for a Phase 1 human trial later this year.

Neurotech (ASX:NTI), a company that is supposed to be making technology to help autistic children (although it was deregistered by the Australian regulator earlier this year), saw its shares shoot up because news leaked that it is now negotiating to import COVID-19 antibody testing kits.