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Rutgers University Pharmacology of Research Project Drafts Peer Evaluations

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Katie Plessel General Aspects of Pharmacology 2/14/22 The Drug Discovery & Development of Amoxicillin One of the most popular antibiotic medications doctors prescribe for infections, Penicillin, was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928 in St. Mary’s Hospital, London (1). Amoxicillin is considered a newer version of Penicillin as it “covers more types of bacteria” (2). Penicillin became widely used in the 1940s during the time of World War 2 and saved numerous lives thanks to the efforts of both the UK and USA for the medical breakthrough (1). It is important to note that World War 2 was the inspiration for the USA to start large scale production of Penicillin. Alexander Fleming was a professor of bacteriology and he started to analyze petri dishes containing the bacteria Staphylococcus which is associated with common bacterial infections. One petri dish had a blob of “mould” and was later determined to be Penicillium nonatum. He found that this Penicillum nonatum had the ability to kill bad bacteria seen in infections. Later on, his assistants Stuart Craddock and Frederick Ridley were able to isolate a pure Penicillin from that “mould” (1). Later in 1972, scientists at Beecham Research Laboratories discovered Amoxicillin (3). Specifically, “The narrow spectrum of antimicrobial activity of the penicillins, led to the search for derivatives of penicillin which could treat a wider range of infections” (3). Later on, advancing in developments led to the discovery of Amoxicillin and since amoxicillin was found to be more lipid soluble than ampicillin, it is able to kill bacteria faster (3). In regards to Amoxicillin and its mechanism of action, it is able to inhibit “the synthesis of bacterial cell walls” and, “It inhibits cross-linkage of a major component of the cell walls of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria – linear peptidoglycan polymer chains” (3). According to the FDA website, Amoxicillin was approved on February 27, 1998 (4). In terms of drug use, Amoxicillin is able to clear up bacterial infections by stopping the growth of bacteria and some of these infections include pneumonia, bronchitis, urinary tract and nose (5). For off-label use, it can also be used to treat Lyme disease. According to MedlinePlus, “Amoxicillin comes as a capsule, a tablet, a chewable tablet, and as a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken every 12 hours (twice a day) or every 8 hours (three times a day) with or without food” (5). The website didn’t include that it is recommended to take Amoxicillin or antibiotics in general with food, but many doctors recommend this for individuals that get gastrointestinal issues from this type of medication. Physical properties of the drug would be that it is typically in a solid form, it’s white and tastes bitter from personal experience. It is often formulated using fermentation, semi-synthetic or synthetic methods. One of the modern methods would be semi-synthetic and this works as, “a combination of natural fermentation and laboratory work to maximize the antibiotic. Maximization can occur through efficacy of the drug itself, amount of antibiotics produced, and Plessel1 potency of the antibiotic being produced” (6). When a drug can’t be produced by bacteria, it is common to use the synthetic method (6). Amoxicillin is marketed by prescription only, but is available through retail pharmacies such as Walgreens or hospital pharmacies (7). According to Reports and Data, “The market is segmented on the basis of the diseases, the route of administration, drug formulation, and distribution channels involved in distributing medicine. The medication is available in tablet, capsule, suspension, syrup, and powder form, through hospital pharmacies, drug stores, retail stores and online pharmacies” (7). Amoxicillin is widely available and used by many as a typical antibiotic for infections that the payoff is worth all the effort to develop the drug. In fact, “According to the current analysis of Reports and Data, the global Amoxicillin market was valued at USD 4,408.1 million in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 4,962.6 million by the year 2026, at a CAGR of 1.5%” (7). So, although knowing how lengthy and challenging the drug development process is, it is worth the time in order to save lives as well as the financial benefit of the drug potentially becoming a blockbuster. Plessel2 References (1) Alexander Fleming Discovery and development of penicillin – landmark. American Chemical Society. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2022, from n.html (2) Sison, G., & Sison, G. (2020, November 13). Amoxicillin vs. penicillin: Differences, similarities, and which is better for you. The Checkup. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from (3) Amoxicillin – an antibiotic: (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2022, from
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