A new way to discover antibiotics

Helperby has discovered a new series of potent, fast-acting antibiotic resistance breakers that can rejuvenate old antibiotics.

The remarkable results we have seen are derived from a unique new drug discovery platform. Instead of targeting multiplying bacteria, our approach focuses on bacteria when they are in their non-multiplying, dormant state. Multiplying bacteria are like the leaves of a weed, while non-multiplying bacteria are like its root. Developing antibiotics that specifically target these root-like bacteria has never been done before; indeed, conventional methods of screening have consistently missed these promising candidate drugs. The result of Helperby’s innovation is a unique, patented approach that we have found to be extraordinarily effective.

Using this approach, we found that we could break resistance when we combined the new Helperby compounds, Antibiotic Resistance Breakers, with old antibiotics.

This is perhaps the most important innovation in the discovery of new antibiotic treatments since Alexander Fleming’s original breakthrough nearly 90 years ago. Our work is all the more important because increased resistance means existing antibiotics are becoming less effective at a faster rate than new antibiotics are being discovered.

Helperby has six programmes in development, all of which contain an existing antimicrobial and a Helperby Antibiotic Resistance Breaker which boosts the effect of the antibiotic:


  • An intravenous combination, which kills highly resistant Gram-negative bacteria. The clinical indication is complicated urinary tract infection, and fast-track development is the preferred route.
  • Phase II clinical trials undertaken with an anti-MRSA/Staphylococcus nasal decolonisation topical combination which shows, in principle, that it is feasible to boost the effect of old antibiotics in humans.
  • Human trial completed which shows that a boosted mouthwash is superior to major competitors in the market for halitosis.


  • Inhaled combination which targets Gram-negative Pseudomonas and MRSA in Cystic Fibrosis patients.
  • Skin and mucosal bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Antiseptic hand wash.