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NIC – New antibacterials on their way to success

EARTO Innovation Awards 2021 – Impact Expected Category


Antimicrobial resistance caused by the uncontrolled use of antibacterials is a major health concern globally, associated with a growing number of bacterial infections. The reducing efficacy of the current antibacterials has led to the need for successful therapeutic antibacterial alternatives to overcome bacterial resistance. Unfortunately, existing therapeutics are becoming ineffective with each new resistant strain, yet the recently invented alternative antimicrobials from the NBTI class lack clinically developed bacterial resistance.

Innovation: EARTO member National Institute of Chemistry (NIC) and University of Ljubljana (UL) developed antibacterials from NBTI class with new structural fragments and mode of DNA gyrase inhibition by forming bifurcated halogen bonds in the enzyme active site. These compounds inhibit the growth of several multi-resistant bacteria and selectively inhibit the bacterial enzyme compared to a comparable human enzyme.

Impact Expected: Our innovation is currently at a pre-clinical level but is directed towards the development of a “lead” compound and selling of the patent within approximately 3 years. As an initial step, these novel compounds obtained a small start-up grant of €23,000. NIC and UL have already been in touch with several companies to further develop this innovation and to invest in the pre-clinical studies on their antibacterials.

More information about this innovation

National Institute of Chemistry is a scientifically excellent and breakthrough research institution based in Slovenia. It has 8 departments and 2 infrastructure centers.