Novel dual antibiotic therapy

Eliminate antibiotic resistant bacteria with two-pronged approach

  • Inhibits iron acquisition
  • Effective against ESKAPE pathogens, mycobacterium
  • Proven compounds safe in humans in effective ranges of concentrations

Licensing Manager: Tyler Scherr, Ph.D. or 402-559-2140


Eliminate antibiotic resistant bacteria with two-pronged approach

A novel dual antibiotic therapy could help in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Current antibiotics target essential processes such as cell wall formation, protein synthesis and DNA synthesis. Pathogens have rapidly evolved to resist many of those antibiotics, but a novel dual antibiotic therapy now targets another essential for bacterial survival inside a host: iron.
Bacterial pathogens use two main mechanisms for iron acquisition. One type is called a siderophore-mediated mechanism, which involves cells in the blood stream that have already absorbed iron and have passed into nearby tissue. The other type involves the part of a red blood cell that carries iron, which is called a heme-mediated mechanism. Treating pathogens with compounds that impact one or the other mechanism shows some antibiotic potential, but UNMC researchers found a way to target both. They identified the ideal concentration ranges of two compounds that work in tandem to shut down both mechanisms to deadly effect.
This novel dual antibiotic therapy is gallium-based and is effective against the six most common antibiotic resistant pathogens or ESKAPE pathogens. UNMC’s tandem approach is also effective against tuberculosis, and works in all applications in a range of therapeutic concentrations already known to be safe in humans.
Contact Tyler Scherr, Ph.D., at or 402-559-2140 to discuss partnering and licensing opportunities.

Additional Information

Intellectual Property

Patent pending

News reports

UNMC Today: “Study find that stealth drug fights resistant bacteria”