Promising New Drug for Resistant Gonorrhea Treatment

Gonorrhea is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and it affects both men and women. Lately, we’re witnessing the rise of gonorrhea cases in the US and across the globe. A major reason for the growing prevalence of gonorrhea is antibiotic resistance. The disease is becoming more and more difficult to treat which can lead to serious complications in affected women and men. The new drug could give new hope to doctors and patients as it proves to be effective in the treatment of gonorrhea.

A new drug for gonorrhea

Resistant Gonorrhea

Resistant Gonorrhea

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), two-thirds of the world’s countries have reported gonorrhea cases that were resistant to antibiotics. Basically, it’s like strains of bacteria that cause gonorrhea have developed tiny shields which protect them from antibiotics and thus make treatment impossible. It’s needless to mention this is a major source of concern as this disease can cause various problems in affected individuals. Finding new cures for this STD is crucial, and the new drug could be what we need to improve the treatment of this disease. This new drug is called zoliflodacin.

What Is Zoliflodacin?

Zoliflodacin is a new antibiotic that is being studied for the treatment of gonorrhea. What makes it different than other antibiotics is the novel mechanism of action which revolves around the inhibition of bacterial type II topoisomerases. The drug, developed by Entasis Therapeutics, inhibits DNA synthesis in a way that is different from other classes of antibiotics and that’s exactly why it could give new hope to patients with this STD but also to doctors and scientists who are looking for new and improved treatments of the disease. 

The efficacy of zoliflodacin was analyzed in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In the study, scientists randomly assigned men and women with signs of uncomplicated urogenital gonorrhea or untreated urogenital gonorrhea to receive zoliflodacin or ceftriaxone. Ceftriaxone is also an antibiotic that treats infections. Results showed that the majority of uncomplicated urogenital and rectal gonococcal infections were successfully treated with zoliflodacin. That being said, the drug was less effective than ceftriaxone in the treatment of pharyngeal infections. 

Although more work needs to be done zoliflodacin is on the road to becoming a promising new treatment for this disease. The drug has received Fast Track designation and qualified infectious disease product or QIDP designation by the FDA, and it is only meant for the treatment of gonococcal infections. In 2019 the new trial will take place in the Netherlands, South Africa, the US, and Thailand. 


Uncomplicated gonorrhea infections carry high morbidity and are becoming resistant to common treatments today. The need for novel therapeutic approaches has never been bigger than it is today, so scientists are working on new drugs. Zoliflodacin is a new drug that shows great potential in treating gonorrhea. This antibiotic has a new mechanism of action that is different than the antibiotics used today. Trials were successful, but this year the makers of this drug will carry out yet another trial on the efficacy and potential of this drug. 

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