Dr. Matibur Zamadar

Dr. Matibur Zamadar, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Stephen F. Austin State University, received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for his invention of a new type of antibiotic for drug resistant bacteria.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Dr. Matibur Zamadar, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Stephen F. Austin State University, has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for his second invention of a drug to treat bacteria that is resistant to most existing antibiotics and kills millions of people around the world with an invasive infection.

Zamadar created a drug to reduce antimicrobial resistance, which occurs when medication loses its ability to kill bacteria. This drug is effective at a relatively low single dose or reduced repeat doses. His invention is effective to treat cancer as well as bacterial infection complications of cancer treatment, especially when cancer cells are surgically removed.

“Pathogenic bacteria often develop resistance against conventional antibacterial agents, which lose efficacy over time,” Zamadar said. “By developing adaptive bacterial resistance, many bacteria become resistant to specific antibacterial structures. As bacteria become more resistant to antibacterial medications, dosages are increased until highest doses become ineffective against the most resistant bacteria.”

Overuse of antibiotics often lead to the emergence of more resistant pathogens. Zamadar’s invention will counteract this.

“Studies project that by 2050 antibacterial resistance will kill 300 million people worldwide, and total world economic loss will be around $100 trillion if antibacterial resistance is not addressed,” he said. “Also, conventional antibiotics are costly and not easily synthesized or readily available to poorer developing or certain developed countries. Patients receiving extended treatment for cancer are at high risk of developing bacterial infections and bacterial resistance due to prolonged neutropenia, lymphocyte dysfunction, and use of invasive devices.”

Patients using chemotherapy drugs will benefit from this invention since they are usually unable to get rid of live bacteria from the tumor site. According to Zamadar, physicians often administer a high dose of antibiotics to cancer patients, which leads to resistant pathogen issues and can cause negative side effects for patients after tumor surgery.

Zamadar began the patent application process in 2020. This is the second U.S. patent granted to a professor in SFA’s College of Sciences and Mathematics within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Zamadar previously obtained one U.S. patent and two international patents from India and South Africa for his prior invention for a drug for cancer treatment in 2022.

“Obtaining this patent would not have been possible without support from SFA faculty members and students,” Zamadar said. “Dr. Michele Harris, associate dean and professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and undergraduate students Aqeeb Ali and Jacob Herschmann provided technical support throughout the patent process. Retired patent attorney Tom Pruitt provided his expertise to file the patent application.”

Learn more about SFA’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Stephen F. Austin State University, the newest member of The University of Texas System, began a century ago as a teachers’ college in Texas’ oldest town, Nacogdoches. Today, it has grown into a regional institution comprising six colleges — business, education, fine arts, forestry and agriculture, liberal and applied arts, and sciences and mathematics. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SFA enrolls approximately 11,000 students while providing the academic breadth of a state university with the personalized attention of a private school. The main campus encompasses 421 acres that include 37 academic facilities, nine residence halls, and 68 acres of recreational trails that wind through its six gardens. The university offers more than 80 bachelor’s degrees, more than 40 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees covering more than 120 areas of study. Learn more at the SFA website