CORDIS - EU research results

Next generation eco-friendly, microbiome preserving and reduced resistance therapeutics

Project description

Highly selective antibiotics may fight highly resistant human pathogens

Antibiotics (literally 'against life') kill bacteria. As our bodies are host to many 'good' bacteria, selective antibiotics are needed. Ribosomes are the site of protein synthesis and the target of novel therapeutics under development by NEXTER. The key is in targeting certain portions of ribosomes that are specific to certain species of bacteria. Using this strategy, scientists have stopped the growth of a multi-drug resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), an important human pathogen causing infection in both clinical and community settings. Further, these synthetic therapeutics are degradable meaning they will decrease environmental contamination, further reducing the development of resistant strains. The team is now targeting other pathogens and plans to take the pioneering technology to market soon.


The rapid emergence and spread of Multi-drug Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), alongside the negligible efforts of the major pharmaceuticals companies in the development of new antibiotics, result in a major global concern of modern medicine. Moreover, the currently clinically used antibiotics contaminate the environment and may harm the human microbiome, causing unpredictable health concerns. We discovered that by targeting species-specific ribosome unique structural motifs, identified by us, using our designed degradable novel synthetic lead compounds, it is possible to inhibit protein biosynthesis in bacteria. Our approach should enable distinction between pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria and between bacterial and human ribosome. This drug selectivity should decrease resistance, preserve the beneficial microbiome and allow usage of lower antibiotics dozes. Furthermore, the designed degradable lead compounds should prevent additional environmental contamination. Hence, our approach allows designing innovative powerful selective antibiotics that escape the existing resistance mechanisms. Several of the primary designed compounds shown to stop the growth of the multi-resistant S. aureus human pathogen were delivered into the bacterial cells by attaching specific chemical moieties to them. In this PoC we plan to design similar compounds for other human pathogens, such as Enterococcus and Pseudomonas species, where revolutionary effective antibiotic drugs against their resistant strains is desperately needed. In addition to the technological PoC in this project, we will attempt pre-commercialization studies aiming at perfecting the commercialization strategy, protecting the IP and strengthen the network for best possible commercialization outcome. The general objective is to establish at least one strategic partnership with a pharma company which has the capacity to further test, develop and commercialize antibiotics that exploit ribosomal novel unique targets.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
7610001 Rehovot

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)