Researchers from the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) have designed and developed a complex formed by three moleculesincluding the antimicrobial ciprofloxacin, which improves the efficacy of current antibiotics and opens the door to creating new antimicrobial treatments.

The research, which is published in the journal ‘Communications Biology’, has not only managed to improve known antibiotics so that they are more effective in smaller dosesbut ha improved his stability and reduced toxicityaccording to the IBEC researcher and professor at the University of Barcelona (UB), Eduard Torrents, who has led the work.

The imperative need for disposition of new antibiotics that can attack bacteria that have become resistant has prompted IBEC researchers to design new functionalities for antibiotics already known or in disuse due to their toxicity.

With the collaboration of the Jozef Stefan Institute of Slovenia, IBEC researchers have explored this option through the design and development of a complex formed by three moleculesamong them the antimicrobial ciprofloxacin, a new drug format that improves the efficacy of current antibiotics.

According to Torrents, a simple and cheap way to redesign old antibiotics is to include them in complexes capable of modifying some of their properties, such as solubility, stability, bioavailability and permeability, «which are essential for them to be effective against bacteria.»

More drug interaction

In this context, researchers have succeeded in create a new ternary complex in which the antibiotic ciprofloxacin it binds to the hydrophilic surface of cyclodextrin through an amino acid, arginine, which acts as a link between both molecules.

During the investigation, they have verified that this new complex intensifies drug interaction with bacterial membranes and increases its bioavailability inside the cell, thus improving its antimicrobial efficacy and safety profile.

«Your release occurs in a more controlled manner and allows, with Less quantity, more effectiveness. Therefore, the treatment is less toxic to the body,» said Torrents.

«Our redesign system could reduce the toxicity or increase the penetration capacity of many antibiotics that have been used for decades and are no longer in use», added the research leader, who remarks that, in this way, «we can take advantage of what we already have and give it a new use, improve itto get the effective antimicrobial treatments we urgently need.

Door open to further studies

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The investigator has opined that do further studies to explore all available possibilities and achieve an increase in the bioavailability of already known drugs, including their ability to develop effects in strains that are currently resistant to traditional antibiotics.

«Produced with simple chemistry, which does not require a high level of technology and is highly economicalThese types of complexes could become very promising tools, capable of encouraging the pharmaceutical industry, since the lack of globally effective antibiotics it is increasingly worrying», Torrents concluded.