New Small Molecules that Disarm Intrinsic Macrolide Resistance in A. baumannii

Tech ID: 20-059

Inventor: Dr. Christian Melander

Date added: July 21, 2020


New small molecules that overcome Acinetobacter baumnnii's intrinsic resistance to macrolides, specifically clarithromycin. 

Technology Summary

Approximately 1.7 million Americans develop hospital associated infections each year, resulting in more than 98,000 deaths. A select group of bacteria, called the ESKAPE pathogens, are responsible for many of these infections, such as pneumonia, bacteremia, wound infections, urinary tract infections, and meningitis. The ESKAPE pathogens often possess multiple drug resistance (MDR) and are not killed by entire classes of antibiotics, necessitating investigation into alternative therapies capable of circumventing resistance mechanisms. One such approach is the development of antibiotic adjuvants, which have little or no inherent antibiotic activity at their active concentrations but instead potentiate the activity of antibiotics against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Gram-negative pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii is one of the main contributors to MDR infections and is resistant to the macrolide class of antibiotics.  If adjuvants for macrolide antibiotics could be successfully developed, a previously ineffective class of antibiotics would become viable treatment options for MDR infections. 

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have recently discovered novel small molecules to be administered in conjunction with macrolide antibiotics against A. baumannii infections. This new technology uses small molecules with adjuvant activity to resensitize virulent strains of A. baumannii to clarithromycin, an antibiotic that the strain is normally resistant to. The New Small Molecules that Disarm Intrinsic Macrolide Resistance in A. baumannii combined with clarithromycin is a promising therapy for the MDR A. baumannii bacterial strain, expanding the available options to treat life-threatening bacterial hospital infections. 

Market Advantage

•    Combination of novel adjuvants with macrolide antibiotics as a new viable treatment for A. baumannii infections. 

Technology Readiness Status

TRL3 - Experimental Proof of Concept

Intellectual Property

Patent Pending


Richard Cox