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Reduction of Antibiotic Resistance-Co-Administration of Food-Grade Compounds


The antibiotics market (over 40 billion USD) is hampered by the lack of new (approved) compounds to answer the growth of antibiotic resistance that poses an increasing threat to treat bacterial infections. Only two completely new classes of antibiotics have been introduced over the past 30 years: the oxazolidinone linezolid (Zyvox; Pfizer) in 2000 and the cyclic lipopeptide daptomycin (Cubicin; Cubist) in 2003. Current approaches are focussing on pro-drug strategies, species-specific platforms (identification of (new) specific targets/pathways), and mining untapped sources of natural compounds.

Technology Overview

Scientists at Leiden University’s Institute of Biology have found compounds that reduce antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria.

In the absence of an antibiotic agent, such compounds have no/hardly any bactericidal effect. The compounds are food-grade. Co-administration together with existing drugs will potentiate their effect. This should allow us to re-use antibiotics that have now been abandoned to due to resistance problems. 

This current invention allows potentiating existing antibiotics by counteracting antibiotic resistance. While the activity of the compounds is broad, we have established their positive effect in particular for enhancing the efficacy of aminoglycosides and β-lactam antibiotics. The enablement is further helped by the fact that the compounds are food-grade (Figure 1).

Details and State of Development:

- Proof-of-concept. Further development involves identification and/or synthesis of derivatives with similar activity                                                - Co-development of (novel) compounds that reduce resistance to antibiotics.

Fig. 1. Potentiating sensitivity of B. subtilis to antibiotics


Antibiotic adjuvant strategies: use of natural compounds that reduce resistance to antibiotics.


Currently, the scientists are seeking partnerships for the next stage of development.

Keywords: antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, antibiotic adjuvant

Key benefits

  • The  synergistic effect of the identified compounds allows re- use of   existing antibiotics that have been abandoned due to resistance problems
  • The compounds hat reduce resistance are food-grade

Luris reference number


Patent status

A patent application has been filed.

Data available on request

Non-confidential and confidential presentations are available upon request.

Further information

Frits Fallaux Coordinator / Sr. Business Developer +31-71-527 2517