Giving antibiotics the power to kill bacterial biofilms


According to the NIH, about 80% of all chronic bacterial infections are associated with biofilms. Biofilm-related infections are highly resistant to antibiotic treatment due to surface sequestration, low penetration, and the presence of metabolically dormant persisters. Dr. Hugh Smyth’s Lab at UT Austin has developed multiple methods to enhance the ability of widely accepted antibiotics to kill bacteria in biofilms. These include PEGylation of antibiotics and novel formulation using GRAS excipients. These methods have distinct mechanisms of action and can be used independently or in combination to greatly improve efficacy.


  • Draws upon multiple patented and patent pending compositions and formulations that work through different mechanisms
  • Leverages Smyth lab expertise in chemistry, formulations, and biofilm biology to design effective therapeutics


Du et al, Mol. Pharmaceutics 2015, 12, 1544-1553

Bahamondez-Canas and Smyth, Pharmaceutical Research 2018; 35:10

Figure 1. PEGylation of antibiotics

Figure 2. GRAS excipients and combination therapy