Skip to main content
| News

Polyphor discovers new class of antibiotics

24.10.2019

Researchers at the Allschwil pharmaceutical company Polyphor and the University of Zurich have discovered a novel antibiotics class. It has a unique mechanism of action that allows it to target multiple bacteria.

Research (Img: Alex011973/shutterstock)

The rapid emergence of antimicrobial resistance is a huge problem, particularly Gram-negative bacteria, according to a statement from the University of Zurich (UZH). Working with colleagues at Polyphor, UZH researchers have now discovered a new class of antibiotics that is effective against several Gram-negative microbes. In its own statement, Polyphor writes that the University of Basel, its Biozentrum and the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) were also involved in the research. The study was published in “Nature”.

The new class is known as Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics (OMPTA). “The new antibiotics interact with essential outer membrane proteins in Gram-negative bacteria,” commented John Robinson from the UZH Department of Chemistry, who co-headed the study, in the UZH statement. The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is important, because it protects the cells from toxic environmental factors such as antibiotics and is responsible for the uptake of nutrients. The antibiotics bind to complex fat-like substances “and to BamA, an essential protein of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria”, explained Robinson. When the novel antibiotics bind to BamA, they destroy the membranes and the cells burst. Currently no clinical antibiotics target the outer membrane proteins, making the Polyphor and UZH finding particularly novel.

Polyphor is set to conduct in-human clinical trials on the new class of antibiotics. “POL7306, a first lead molecule of the OMPTA class, is now in preclinical development,” said Daniel Obrecht, chief scientific officer at Polyphor and co-head of the work. In the Polyphor statement he added: “We are proud to have discovered a novel class of antibiotics potentially addressing a major unmet medical need.” He also acknowledged the financial support of Innosuisse – the federal innovation agency, the Wellcome Trust, the Novo REPAIRImpact Fund and CARB-X.

CARB-X is one of the world’s biggest public-private partnerships conducting groundbreaking research to combat drug-resistant bacteria. Representing the Basel region, which is a leading center for antibiotics research, BaselArea.swiss is a member of CARB-X. The location promotion organization supports businesses eligible for CARB-X funding and consults the network regarding the support of companies.

Share this article

Sign up to receive our newsletter in your inbox.

You might also be interested in

Space Pharmaceuticals establishes presence in Basel
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Invest, Life Sciences / biotech

Space Pharmaceuticals establishes presence in Basel

Space Pharmaceuticals AG is strengthening the life sciences cluster in the Basel Area. At its research lab, the cheminformatics company...

Read More
NextImmune to benefit from Venture Kick financing
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Life Sciences / biotech

NextImmune to benefit from Venture Kick financing

The startup accelerator Venture Kick is supporting NextImmune with financing in the amount of 150,000 Swiss francs. The spin-off from...

Read More
OECD impressed by the canton of Jura’s innovation system
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Medtech, Switzerland Innovation Park

OECD impressed by the canton of Jura’s innovation system

The OECD has examined the innovation systems in place in rural areas of its member states, including the canton of...

Read More
ti&m opens branch in Basel
Basel Area Business & Innovation, ICT, Innovation, Invest

ti&m opens branch in Basel

ti&m now has an office in Basel. With this action, the company specializing in digitization, security and innovation projects is...

Read More
What can artificial intelligence do for health?
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Digital Health, Innovation, Life Sciences / biotech, Medtech

What can artificial intelligence do for health?

Algorithms help diagnose and treat diseases, discover new drugs and personalize prevention. Thus, the potential of artificial intelligence has been...

Read More
Economic promotion agency creates 55 new jobs in Jura
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Invest, Switzerland Innovation Park

Economic promotion agency creates 55 new jobs in Jura

The economic promotion agency of the canton of Jura supported a total of 26 companies in founding, establishing a presence...

Read More
Investors top up capital of BioVersys
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Invest, Life Sciences / biotech

Investors top up capital of BioVersys

BioVersys has raised 24.2 million Swiss francs in a series C funding round. The Basel-based pharmaceutical company plans to use...

Read More
Swiss made software label awarded to 1000th company
Basel Area Business & Innovation, ICT, Innovation

Swiss made software label awarded to 1000th company

Swiss made software GmbH has now awarded its seal of quality to its 1,000th member firm. The “swiss made software”...

Read More
EvokAI to acquire Advancience
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Digital Health, Innovation, Invest, Medtech

EvokAI to acquire Advancience

EvokAI Creative Labs Inc. has agreed a deal to acquire Advancience. The diagnosis profiles enhanced by Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed...

Read More
BeiGene opens European headquarters in Basel
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Invest, Life Sciences / biotech

BeiGene opens European headquarters in Basel

BeiGene has opened its new European headquarters in Basel. The global biotech specializing in innovative cancer treatments intends to build...

Read More
1 2 3 34

Do you have a question? We'd like to hear from you.