Institutional profile: Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery – crowdsourcing new antibiotics and antifungals

  • Mathilde R Desselle, Ruth Neale, Karl A Hansford, Johannes Zuegg, Alysha G Elliott, Matthew A Cooper, Mark AT Blaskovich
  • Future Science OA, May 2017, Future Science
  • DOI: 10.4155/fsoa-2016-0093

Discovering New Antibiotics

Photo by Michael Schiffer on Unsplash

Photo by Michael Schiffer on Unsplash

What is it about?

We desperately need new antibiotics to treat the increasing number of infections that are resistant to current antibiotics, but the pharmaceutical industry has largely abandoned antibiotic research. The Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery (CO-ADD) is an attempt to discover new antibiotics contained in the millions of compounds that chemists have synthesized over the last 100 years. We encourage chemists around the world to help discover new antibiotics by sending us their compounds to test, for free.

Why is it important?

CO-ADD has tested nearly 200,000 compounds, and identified many compounds that have activity against bacteria or fungi. This is the first of many steps in developing a new antibiotic.


Mark Blaskovich
University of Queensland

The discovery of new antibiotics is not keeping pace with the development of antibiotic resistance. We need new approaches to identify potential antibiotics, and CO-ADD provides a way for the global chemistry community to help fight back against resistant bacteria and fungi.

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The following have contributed to this page: Matthew Cooper and Mark Blaskovich