Novel Antibiotic Drug Combination Including an Anti-Inflammatory Metabolite

Case ID:

This technology involves a combination of a metabolite, 3-hydroxyanthanilic acid (3HAA) with a compound that alters cellular iron homeostasis (e.g. an iron chelator or an iron supplement) that produces synergistic antibiotic interaction.  3HAA sensitizes bacteria to changes in iron availability (both increasing iron media content through supplementation or chelation of iron). Iron is an important element that is necessary for many critical processes in biological systems, including both eukaryotic cells and bacteria. Iron chelators act by binding available iron, making it easier for cells and tissues to move and excrete. Combining 3HAA with an iron supplement or an iron chelator indicates dual benefit of killing and inhibiting growth of pathogenic bacteria while repressing hyperinflammatory response.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the most prominent problems in healthcare today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States alone sees more than 2.8 million cases of antibiotic-resistant infection each year resulting in more than 35,000 deaths. Sepsis-dysfunctional systemic inflammatory response to infection leading to organ damage and failure-is a leading cause of mortality in intensive care units (ICUs) and among the most expensive health conditions treated in the United States. Sepsis survivors experience chronic inflammation, immune suppression, reduced physical function, elevated frailty, and higher mortality rates. The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance has left healthcare workers with a depleted toolbox to combat sepsis. Age is both a primary risk factor for developing sepsis and a major determinant of survival and long-term consequences. There is an urgent and growing need to identify novel antibiotics to combat both the general expansion of antibiotic-resistance bacterial pathogens and sepsis-particularly in elderly patients.

To solve this problem, there is a need to develop new types of bacteria-resistant antibiotics. This technology promises to help meet that need, adding one additional tool for medical practitioners to use against antibiotic-resistant infections. In addition, it can be used to reduce inflammation in people with sepsis, which can reduce the chance of organ failure and improve recovery and survivability.


  • Antibiotic with new mode of action
  • Anti-inflammatories


  • Effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Reduces hyperinflammatory response associated with sepsis
  • Low toxicity
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Laura Silva
Sr. Licensing Manager, COS
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
George Sutphin
Luis Espejo