New strategy to combat bacterial infections

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RNRbiotics is a library of compounds showing high antibacterial activity against several key pathogenic species. RNRbiotic compounds target specifically bacterial DNA synthesis without interfering the host system and suitable to treat bacteria forming biofilm. Consequently, it shows great promise to become excellent therapeutic agents for bacterial chronic lung infection in diseases such as COPD and CF. 


  • To fight against multiresistant bacterial infections, especially chronic lung infections, which represent a major treat to the welfare of our society.

Problem to Solve

Infectious diseases constitute a tenacious and major public health problem worldwide, and antibiotic resistant pathogens have been recognized as one of the primary threats to human survival. The annual impact of infections resistant to antibiotics represent very high healthcare costs. Our society is demanding new antibiotic strategies, especially for patients suffering bacterial chronic lung infections such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis (CF).

There exists an urgent need for the treatment of patients suffering from both diseases or with multiresistant bacterial infections, where the current antibiotic therapy is not working properly due to the poor action against bacteria growing in biofilms (structures including microorganisms sticked between them and adhered to tissue surface), leading to chronic lung infections.


RNRbiotics are highly active molecules with the capacity to inhibit DNA synthesis, blocking bacterial growth. This mechanism is a key factor to treat multi-resistant bacteria with a different mode of action compared to inefficient pre-existing therapies.

The biofim matrix can act as a barrier to delay the diffusion of antibiotics into biofilms and also drives changes on bacterial metabolism to counterpart the antibiotic activity. Antibiotics with this key limitation include the major antibiotics used in chronic lung infections as colistin, tobramycin or ciprofloxacin. We have demonstrated the unique capacity of our molecules to inhibit bacterial biofilm formation and to destroy and eliminate preexisting bacterial biofilms, present in most infections in COPD and CF patients.

Level of Innovation

RNRbiotics, according to previous estimations, would work at equivalent doses, but could be cheaper to manufacture and, due to its small size, it diffuses smoothly inside the biofilm structure, killing the whole bacterial population. Furthermore, their importance as new antibacterials is based on the capacity to target novel bacterial mechanisms, allowing their use in the treatment of bacteria multi-resistant to existing antibiotics.

RNRbiotics might be used in biofilm caused chronic bacterial infections and a new antibiotic of choice against multidrug-resistant infections. Physicians would have a new powerful tool, alternative or complementary to existing options and millions of deaths worldwide could be saved.


Group leader, Bacterial Infections and Antimicrobial Therapies group

Eduard Torrents

Project leader

Group Leader

Fernando Albericio

Universitat de Barcelona


Pep Astola

Instituto de Bioingeniería de Cataluña

PhD Student

Aida Baelo

Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya

Postdoctoral Researcher

Laia Miret

Universitat de Barcelona



Andrés G. Fernández

Ferrer Advanced Biotherapeutics


Scientific Area


Business area


Research center

Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya (IBEC)