WiSys: T100005US02

Compound to Treat Staphylococcus aureus Infections Including MRSA Strains


Aaron Monte, William Schwan, Marc Rott, James Cook, M. Shahjahan Kabir, Jennifer Miskowski, Ranjit Verma, Leah Defoe

The WiSys Technology Foundation is seeking commercial partners interested in developing and manufacturing these antibacterial compounds for pharmaceutical use.
OVERVIEWEmerging resistance to antibiotics remains a serious threat to human health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year nearly 2 million people acquire an infection while in a hospital. New antimicrobial agents are urgently needed to combat the rise of resistant forms of infections including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Two-thirds of the S. aureus strains isolated from infected people are now MRSA strains and are responsible for nearly 278,000 infections and 19,000 deaths annually, according to the CDC. Resistance to other antibiotics is becoming more commonplace within this species, so new antibiotics are desperately needed to keep abreast of the ongoing resistance patterns in S. aureus and other bacteria strains.
THE INVENTIONA collaborative research team from the UW System has identified a new antimicrobial compound and several derivatives that have broad spectrum activity against several clinically important gram-positive species including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), among others.

Initial testing has uncovered the following:
  • Preliminary in vitro studies demonstrate the unformulated compound was efficacious against a number of strains of S. aureus, including MRSA strains.
  • Preliminary in vivo studies demonstrate unformulated compound is both efficacious and safe when administered intraperitoneally (IP) to mice to treat thigh abscess MRSA infections.
  • Compound formulation has been optimized for bioavailability
  • Preliminary safety/toxicity of formulated compound was tested in mice, and the compound was found to be safe for testing in mammals.
  • Preliminary PK studies demonstrate bioavailability is 8 percent with a half-life of 20-30 minutes.
  • Radiolabeled macromolecule synthesis studies have shown the mechanism of action for the drug is not tied to DNA, RNA, or protein synthesis.
Taken together, these results suggest the compound may be a safe, viable, and effective treatment for clinically significant gram-positive infections in humans, including high priority drug resistant strains.
  • Treatment of multiple gram-positive infections in humans, including some drug resistant strains
  • Effective against multiple bacterial species
  • Can help lower the cost of healthcare
  • Profound impact on public health
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTCompound isolated and initial bioavailability and toxicity testing completed
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Souter at or (608) 316-4131.
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WiSys Technology Foundation serves the University of Wisconsin System comprehensive campuses by patenting and licensing discoveries to leading companies in Wisconsin, the United States and worldwide. Established in 2000 by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and the UW System, WiSys is building the next generation of patent and licensing opportunities by fostering collaborations among campuses, private research organizations and industry, facilitating high-tech research with grant programs, and promoting student training for employment in a knowledge-based economy. WiSys's income is distributed to the UW campuses, the inventors and their departments to grow future discoveries and educational opportunities.