A Microbiome Sparing, Organism-Specific Therapy for C. difficile Infection

Case ID:

University of Arizona researchers have developed a water-soluble nanocarrier that is non-toxic to both human tissue and to bacteria. The carrier can complex with oligonucleotides that can bind to bacterial mRNA, preventing translation and inhibiting various bacterial functions.

The carrier can complex with translation-inhibiting modified oligonucleotides of such length that specific species of bacteria can be targeted. This technology not only allows for species-specific killing of bacteria, but unlike all current antibiotics, it allows for inhibiting bacterial virulence factors such as toxin production and spore formulation, making this technology a major disruptor in the antibiotic space.

Since the patented carrier for this technology can allow oligonucleotide delivery to any bacteria, not just C. difficile, this technology can be used to treat any bacteria on any epithelial surface, such as gut, lung, and skin.


  • Treat C. difficile in humans and animals
  • Targeted treatment of other bacterial infections


  • Cost-effective
  • Easily scalable
  • High specificity
  • Reduces risk of reoccurrence of infection
  • Non-toxic to human tissue
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Tod McCauley
Assistant Director of Licensing, CALS
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
David Stewart
Arun Sharma
Gayatri Vedantam