A team of researchers from the University of Barcelona recently developed a new series of antibacterial compounds that uses natural peptides to selectively eliminate resistant pathogens.
The study results prove that the new series of compounds is efficient against clinically relevant Gram-positive as well as Gram-negative bacteria. Both in vivo and in vitro tests demonstrate that the compounds have low levels of toxicity.
"The main goal of the study has been to design, synthetize and prove in vitro activity and in vivo toxicity of a new series of polymyxin, which present potential advantages over currently existing antibiotics," Francesc Rabanal, member of the European consortium ENABLE and lead researcher at the University of Barcelona, said. "One of these advantages is that these antibiotics can act against Gram-negative bacteria, including resistant and multi-resistant strains, which are the most dangerous from the point of view of public health; in addition, they show activity against S. aureus (Gram-positive bacteria).
"The main objective of the study was to design cyclic lipopeptides with a chemically accessible structure, high activity and low toxicity," Rabanal said. "The next step is to optimize this prototype compound in order to obtain a therapeutic candidate that could be developed in clinical trials and get the market.”