B-Lactamase Inhibitors

B-Lactamase Inhibitor Program

Bacteria can develop resistance to β-lactam antibiotics by producing enzymes called β-lactamases, which attack and destroy the antibiotic. Today, over 70% of  hospital based infections caused by gram-negative bacteria are associated with an antibiotic resistant organism.1 To overcome this type of resistance, β-lactam antibiotics are often combined with β-lactamase inhibitors such as clavulanic acid. For example, the popular antibiotic Augmentin® consists of a β-Lactam (amoxicillin) combined with a β-lactamase inhibitor (clavulanic acid).

Existing β-lactamase inhibitors are not effective against the emergent extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and carbapenem-hydrolyzing β-lactamases (carbapenemases). An immediate need exists to identify new β-lactamase inhibitors that can provide protection against bacteria producing such β-lactamases.

VenatoRx is investigating novel β-lactamase inhibitors that provide broad protection against resistant bacteria, including bacteria with extended spectrum β-lactamases or carbapenemases.


1. Gaynes R, Edwards JR. Overview of nosocomial infections caused by gram-negative bacilli. Clin Infect Dis. 2005;41:848–854