St George's Medical School Researchers are developing the first of the generation of antibiotics, which are a compound for the treatment of the hospital superbug MRSA that lives in the nose.
The new drug targets bacteria that are left behind by standard antibiotics because the bacteria have developed a resistance to them.
The anti-MRSA drug, HT61, is scheduled for testing in humans next year and may be available in the market in five years. Most hospitals test people prior for the MRSA bacteria before operations to see if they are infected.
Sir Anthony Coates, professor of medical microbiology at St George's Medical School and a lead researcher in this study said that the research so far has showed the new drug to be potent against MRSA and could cut the length of time people need to take medication by half.
Clive Page, professor of pharmacology at King's College London, also working on the study, said: "It may lead to us providing a combination of drugs - one to target the dividing bacteria and one to target the persistent form."
If something like penicillin is taken along with this, one might be able to get a treatment course which lasts one or two days, rather than the current five to seven - They added.