By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 New England Business Editor

BOSTON (CBS) – A collaboration between the Broad Institute and AstraZeneca is aimed at targeting dangerous bacterial infections that don’t react to existing drugs.

Mike Foley, director of the Institute’s Chemical Biology Platform, says quickly identifying new chemical compounds is important, because many of the bacteria out there are becoming resistant to the drugs that are available.

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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva reports

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Foley says the quick rise of drug resistant bacteria is become an urgent threat to public health.

He says the bacteria never stop evolving, they’re constantly trying to find ways to beat the current drugs that are out there. Since those drugs hit a narrow range of targets, Foley says the bacteria have a very well-defined problem — work around this small set of drugs that are available. He says the key to this collaboration will be to find new ways to attack these bacteria.

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The Broad Institute is a collaboration between Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the Harvard-affiliated hospitals. Foley says Broad is a non-profit organization, and what it’s getting from the arrangement with AstraZeneca is sponsored research support.