# Chimeric peptidomimetic antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria

## Abstract

There is an urgent need for new antibiotics against Gram-negative pathogens that are resistant to carbapenem and third-generation cephalosporins, against which antibiotics of last resort have lost most of their efficacy. Here we describe a class of synthetic antibiotics inspired by scaffolds derived from natural products. These chimeric antibiotics contain a β-hairpin peptide macrocycle linked to the macrocycle found in the polymyxin and colistin family of natural products. They are bactericidal and have a mechanism of action that involves binding to both lipopolysaccharide and the main component (BamA) of the β-barrel folding complex (BAM) that is required for the folding and insertion of β-barrel proteins into the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Extensively optimized derivatives show potent activity against multidrug-resistant pathogens, including all of the Gram-negative members of the ESKAPE pathogens$^{1}$. These derivatives also show favourable drug properties and overcome colistin resistance, both in vitro and in vivo. The lead candidate is currently in preclinical toxicology studies that-if successful-will allow progress into clinical studies that have the potential to address life-threatening infections by the Gram-negative pathogens, and thus to resolve a considerable unmet medical need.

## Abstract

There is an urgent need for new antibiotics against Gram-negative pathogens that are resistant to carbapenem and third-generation cephalosporins, against which antibiotics of last resort have lost most of their efficacy. Here we describe a class of synthetic antibiotics inspired by scaffolds derived from natural products. These chimeric antibiotics contain a β-hairpin peptide macrocycle linked to the macrocycle found in the polymyxin and colistin family of natural products. They are bactericidal and have a mechanism of action that involves binding to both lipopolysaccharide and the main component (BamA) of the β-barrel folding complex (BAM) that is required for the folding and insertion of β-barrel proteins into the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Extensively optimized derivatives show potent activity against multidrug-resistant pathogens, including all of the Gram-negative members of the ESKAPE pathogens$^{1}$. These derivatives also show favourable drug properties and overcome colistin resistance, both in vitro and in vivo. The lead candidate is currently in preclinical toxicology studies that-if successful-will allow progress into clinical studies that have the potential to address life-threatening infections by the Gram-negative pathogens, and thus to resolve a considerable unmet medical need.

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117 citations in Web of Science®
115 citations in Scopus®