Guanfacine as an Anti-Virulence Agent in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

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Guanfacine as an Anti-Virulence Agent in Pseudomonas aeruginosa


Docket# 19-3565-1


Current anti-infective therapies against bacterial pathogens fall in two broad categories: vaccines and antibiotics. While vaccines serve in disease prevention, antibiotics kill pathogens after infection. However, since antibiosis creates a selective pressure for resistant bacteria, development of anti-infectives with anti-virulence properties has become imperative. Anti-virulence agents disarm bacterial virulence, thus preventing the onset of disease. Importantly, anti-virulence agents do not affect bacterial growth thereby eliminating selective pressures that can lead to resistance.


Researchers at Princeton University have discovered a new anti-virulence agent against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an ESKAPE pathogen deemed by the CDC as a leading cause of nosocomial infections. This agent does not affect the growth of P. aeruginosa, but reduces or eliminates the production of at least nine well-characterized virulence factors. The researchers have also identified a target through which the anti-virulence agent exerts its effects. This agent may be used by itself or in combination therapy to fight P. aeruginosa infections.



•       Can be used to treat P. aeruginosa infections

•       Can be used in combination with other antibacterial agents used against P. aeruginosa

•       Can be used by itself or in combination with other antibacterial agents against other pathogens



•       Available commercially

•       Low cost

•       Approved by FDA

•       Production has already been described under GLP and GMP regulations


Stage of Development

The researchers have experimentally verified that the anti-virulence agent does not affect the growth of P. aeruginosa, and that the production of nine different virulence factors involved in infection is down-regulated in the presence of the anti-virulence agent.



Okada BK, Li A, Seyedsayamdost MR. Identification of the Hypertension Drug Guanfacine as an Anti-virulence Agent in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  Chembiochem. 2019 Mar 30.


Faculty Inventor

Mohammad Seyedsayamdost is Associate Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University.  His research focuses on the discovery of new, bioactive small molecules and their biosynthetic pathways form microbial sources.  Presently, his lab is devising novel strategies for the characterization of drug-like natural products that have not been accessed by current or traditional methods. The Seyedsayamdost group employs a multi-disciplinary approach by combining techniques from a number of fields, including genetics, microbiology, protein biochemistry and natural products chemistry. 


Bethany Okada is a former graduate student in Dr. Seyedsayamdost’s laboratory. She is currently a research scientist at Sirenas.


Anran Li is a current graduate student in Dr. Seyedsayamdost’s laboratory.


Intellectual Property Status

Patent protection is pending. Princeton is currently seeking commercial partners for the further development and commercialization of this opportunity.



Laurie Tzodikov

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing • (609) 258-7256•





Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Cortney Cavanaugh
New Ventures and licensing associate
Princeton University
Mohammad Seyedsayamdost
Bethany Okada
Anran Li