New Antibiotic Class Under Development For Acne Treatment

Dr Ramiz Boulos PhD
School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Flinders University, Bedford Park
Chief Executive Officer
Boulos & Cooper Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd
Port Adelaide, SA, Australia What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Boulos: Zolav® is a first generation antibiotic belonging to a novel class of small molecule synthetic antibiotics that was developed using in-silico modelling. It targets the mechanosensitive ion channel of large conductance, a highly conserved ion channel in bacteria not found in the human genome, making it a well sought after target. The channels have evolved to rescue bacteria from a high osmotic environment by acting as an emergency valve, opening up, and preventing bacteria from lysis. Our antibiotics reduce the threshold at which the channels open and elongate their opening times, in essence causing bacteria to “vomit”.

Acne affects about 650 million people worldwide making it one of the top ten most common diseases.  Isotretinoin, a vitamin A derivative, is currently the standard of care for treatment. However, it has a number of side effects among which a well-established teratogenic activity is the most serious, a reason for the development of novel and low-risk treatment options for acne. Zolav®,like other antibiotics in this new class, have low cytotoxicity, antioxidant properties and high chemical stability. The very low concentrations needed to yield a therapeutic effect and reduce inflammation in the mouse intradermal acne infection model, and the low risk nature of a topical administration of the drug, makes Zolav® a potentially very attractive option for the treatment of acne. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Boulos: Clinicians and patients should become aware of the presence of new, low risk and effective treatment options for acne under development. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Boulos: Although topical drug administration is local and comparatively of lower risk, the systemic concentrations of Zolav®, would need to be determined and the drug’s toxicity assessed. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Boulos: In addition to the advantages listed above, the patented synthesis of antibiotics belonging to this new class is highly efficient and is geared to the industrial needs of large-scale manufacturing. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Alexa Dinant,1 Ramiz A Boulos2,3

1AXD Pty Ltd, Semaphore Park, 2School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park, 3Boulos & Cooper Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd, Port Adelaide, SA, Australia

DovePress Published 22 March 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1235—1242



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