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Professor Anthony Coates

Professor of Medical Microbiology
Studies tuberculosis (TB) , antibiotic discovery and development wich address antibiotic resistance

Anthony Coates is the Professor of Medical Microbiology. His main research interests are in antibiotic development and in tuberculosis. With Dr Yanmin Hu, Professor Coates invented a new platform technology to create novel patented combinations of repurposed or new antimicrobials which can rescue existing antibiotics. He founded the Antibiotic Biotech, Helperby Therapeutics plc, to develop new patented combinations, one of which is in the market, three are in the clinical trial stage and two are in late stage preclinical development

Professor Coates trained in medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School. He qualified with MBBS, MRCS, LRCP 1973, and was awarded BSc in 1971. In 1978, he gained MRCP(UK).

In 1979, he was awarded an MRC Training Fellowship under the supervision of Professor Dennis Mitchison who was the Director of the MRC Unit for TB Laboratory Studies at the Hammersmith Hospital, London. Dr Coates was an Associate of the MRC TB Unit. He was awarded MD in 1984 under the supervision of Prof Mitchison, in which he produced the first set of monoclonal antibodies against TB which are still used throughout the world.

In 1984, Professor Coates was appointed Senior Lecturer (Hon Consultant) in Medical Microbiology at the London Hospital Medical, whose head was Professor JD Williams, an expert in antimicrobial resistance.

In 1990, he was appointed Professor of Medical Microbiology at St George’s Hospital Medical School, Head of the academic department of Medical Microbiology, Head of the NHS department of Medical Microbiology at St George’s Hospital and Head of the Public Health Laboratory Service, Tooting.

He was awarded FRCP and FRCPath in 1998 and 1999.

He leads research teams in the development of combinations of drugs for highly resistant bacteria and in tuberculosis.

He founded Helperby Therapeutics Group Ltd in 2002. This company has 128 internationally granted patents in antibiotic development.

Discoveries and impact

  1. Since 1980, Professor Coates’ main research interest has been tuberculosis. His research is responsible for making the first set of monoclonal antibodies (Coates et al Lancet, 1981 )against TB. This led to the cloning and identification of TB heat shock proteins, which, in turn led to the discovery that these proteins can suppress asthma and arthritis. Currently, drug candidates identified in this work are in commercial development in the USA (RevoloBiotherapeutics plc).
  2. The discovery that dormant TB is metabolically active (Hu et al J Bacteriol 2000. This led to the invention by Professor Coates and Dr Yanmin Hu of a new way of making antibiotics, which are active against dormant bacteria. This concept is in commercial development by Helperby Therapeutics Group Ltd.
  3. The discovery of a novel antibiotic by screening against dormant bacteria, which primarily kills dormant bacteria (inventors Hu Y and Coates A). This antibiotic is being developed by Helperby Therapeutics and is in mid stage clinical trials.
  4. Combinations of repurposed drugs are active against WHO Critical Priority bacterial pathogens (inventors Hu Y and Coates A). These combinations are in clinical trials with Helperby Therapeutics
  5. Combinations of Repurposed drugs are 200-fold lower cost to develop than New Chemical Entity antibiotics. This is important because New Chemical Entity antibiotics are too expensive for Industry or Governments to develop in order to replace all existing antibiotics, 3-5% GDP of USA/Europe each year for the foreseeable future. In contrast, combinations of repurposed antibiotics cost 0.005% global GDP which is affordable long-term. This means that the only affordable way to replace all existing obsolete antibiotics in the long term, is to develop combinations of repurposed drugs.

Professor Coates led a reach team focusing on antibiotic development and tuberculosis.

He has been awarded numerous national and international grants from the European Commission, British MRC, Wellcome trust, charities and industry, and is named inventor on over 128 patents with co-inventor Dr Yanmin Hu. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed publications and 13 books as editor (ORCID:

Publications 2017 to 2022

Jones, F., Hu, Y., & Coates, A. (2022). The Efficacy of Using Combination Therapy against Multi-Drug and Extensively Drug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Clinical Settings. Antibiotics (Basel), 11(3). doi:10.3390/antibiotics11030323.

Hu, Y., & Coates, A. (2021). Zidovudine enhances activity of carbapenems against NDM-1-producing Enterobacteriaceae.. J Antimicrob Chemother, 76(9), 2302-2305.doi:10.1093/jac/dkab184.

Hu, Y., & Coates, A. (2021). Mefloquine enhances the activity of colistin against antibiotic-resistant Enterobacterales in vitro and in an in vivo animal study.. Int J Antimicrob Agents,57(4), 106309. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2021.106309.

 Clewe, O., Faraj, A., Hu, Y., Coates, A. R. M., & Simonsson, U. S. H. (2020). A model-based analysis identifies differences in phenotypic resistance between in vitro and in vivo: implications for translational medicine within tuberculosis.. J Pharmacokinet Pharmacodyn,47(5), 421-430. doi:10.1007/s10928-020-09694-0.

Susanto, B. O., Wicha, S. G., Hu, Y., Coates, A. R. M., & Simonsson, U. S. H. (2020).Translational Model-Informed Approach for Selection of Tuberculosis Drug CombinationRegimens in Early Clinical Development.. Clin Pharmacol Ther, 108(2), 274-286.doi:10.1002/cpt.1814.

Frapwell, C. J., Skipp, P. J., Howlin, R. P., Angus, E. M., Hu, Y., Coates, A. R. M., . . .Webb, J. S. (2020). Antimicrobial Activity of the Quinoline Derivative HT61 against Staphylococcus aureus Biofilms.. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 64(5).doi:10.1128/AAC.02073-19.

Amison, R. T., Faure, M. -E., O'Shaughnessy, B. G., Bruce, K. D., Hu, Y., Coates, A., & Page, C. P. (2020). The small quinolone derived compound HT61 enhances the effect of tobramycin against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro and in vivo.. Pulm Pharmacol Ther, 61,101884. doi:10.1016/j.pupt.2019.101884.

Riffo-Vasquez, Y., Kanabar, V., Keir, S. D., E-Lacerda, R. R., Man, F., Jackson, D. J., . . .Page, C. P. (2020). Modulation of allergic inflammation in the lung by a peptide derived from Mycobacteria tuberculosis chaperonin 60.1.. Clin Exp Allergy, 50(4), 508-519.doi:10.1111/cea.13550.

Loose, M., Naber, K. G., Coates, A., Wagenlehner, F. M. E., & Hu, Y. (2020). Effect ofDifferent Media on the Bactericidal Activity of Colistin and on the Synergistic Combination With Azidothymidine Against mcr-1-Positive Colistin-Resistant Escherichia coli.. FrontMicrobiol, 11, 54. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.00054.

Coates, A. R. M., Hu, Y., Holt, J., & Yeh, P. (2020). Antibiotic combination therapy against resistant bacterial infections: synergy, rejuvenation and resistance reduction.. Expert RevAnti Infect Ther, 18(1), 5-15. doi:10.1080/14787210.2020.1705155.

Loose, M., Naber, K. G., Hu, Y., Coates, A., & Wagenlehner, F. M. E. (2019). Urinarybactericidal activity of colistin and azidothymidine combinations against mcr-1-positivecolistin-resistant Escherichia coli.. Int J Antimicrob Agents, 54(1), 55-61.doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2019.04.011.

Falagas, M. E., Voulgaris, G. L., Tryfinopoulou, K., Giakkoupi, P., Kyriakidou, M.,Vatopoulos, A., . . . Colistin - Azidothymidine Hellenic Study Group. (2019). Synergisticactivity of colistin with azidothymidine against colistin-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniaeclinical isolates collected from inpatients in Greek hospitals.. Int J Antimicrob Agents, 53(6),855-858. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2019.02.021.

Hu, Y., Pertinez, H., Liu, Y., Davies, G., & Coates, A. (2019). Bedaquiline kills persistent Mycobacterium tuberculosis with no disease relapse: an in vivo model of a potential cure.. JAntimicrob Chemother, 74(6), 1627-1633. doi:10.1093/jac/dkz052.

Hu, Y., Liu, Y., & Coates, A. (2019). Azidothymidine Produces Synergistic Activity in Combination with Colistin against Antibiotic-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae.. AntimicrobAgents Chemother, 63(1). doi:10.1128/AAC.01630-18.

Loose, M., Naber, K. G., Hu, Y., Coates, A., & Wagenlehner, F. M. E. (2018). Serumbactericidal activity of colistin and azidothymidine combinations against mcr-1-positivecolistin-resistant Escherichia coli.. Int J Antimicrob Agents, 52(6), 783-789.doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2018.08.010.

Wicha, S. G., Clewe, O., Svensson, R. J., Gillespie, S. H., Hu, Y., Coates, A. R. M., & Simonsson, U. S. H. (2018). Forecasting Clinical Dose-Response From Preclinical Studies in Tuberculosis Research: Translational Predictions With Rifampicin.. Clin Pharmacol Ther,104(6), 1208-1218. doi:10.1002/cpt.1102.

Frapwell, C. J., Howlin, R. P., Soren, O., McDonagh, B. T., Duignan, C. M., Allan, R. N., . . .Webb, J. S. (2018). Increased rates of genomic mutation in a biofilm co-culture model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. doi:10.1101/387233.

Liu, Y., Pertinez, H., Davies, G. R., Gillespie, S. H., Coates, A. R., & Hu, Y. (2018). Moxifloxacin Replacement in Contemporary Tuberculosis Drug Regimens Is Ineffective against Persistent Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the Cornell Mouse Model.. AntimicrobAgents Chemother, 62(7). doi:10.1128/AAC.00190-18.

Liu, Y., Pertinez, H., Ortega-Muro, F., Alameda-Martin, L., Harrison, T., Davies, G., Hu,Y. (2018). Optimal doses of rifampicin in the standard drug regimen to shorten tuberculosis treatment duration and reduce relapse by eradicating persistent bacteria.. J AntimicrobChemother, 73(3), 724-731. doi:10.1093/jac/dkx467.

Hubbard, A. T., Coates, A. R., & Harvey, R. D. (2017). Comparing the action of HT61 andchlorhexidine on natural and model Staphylococcus aureus membranes.. J Antibiot (Tokyo),70(10), 1020-1025. doi:10.1038/ja.2017.90.

Hubbard, A. T. M., Barker, R., Rehal, R., Vandera, K. -K. A., Harvey, R. D., & Coates, A. R.M. (2017). Mechanism of Action of a Membrane-Active Quinoline-Based Antimicrobial on Natural and Model Bacterial Membranes.. Biochemistry, 56(8), 1163-1174.doi:10.1021/acs.biochem.6b01135.

Strauss, C., Hu, Y., Coates, A., & Perreten, V. (2017). A Novel erm (44) Gene Variant from a Human Staphylococcus saprophyticus Isolate Confers Resistance to Macrolides and Lincosamides but Not Streptogramins.. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 61(1).doi:10.1128/AAC.01655-16.

Sources of funding of research

The production of monoclonal antibodies against M. tuberculosis

British Medical Research Council, August 1979 - August 1982, £16,062.

The production of macrophage activating factors by T lymphocyte hybridomas

British Medical Research Council, May 1982 - May 1985, £34,441.

The development of a new vaccine for tuberculosis by the production of recombinant M.tuberculosis antigens in E. coli using monoclonal antibodies as markers

World Health Organisation, October 1984, £10,000.

Collaborative project for the cloning of the macrophage activating factor gene

Celltech, January 1985 - January 1986, £13,500.

Transformation of human T lymphocytes with HTLV1

Celltech, January 1985 - June 1986, £7,500.

Consulting fees for cloning of macrophage activating factor gene

Celltech, September 1984 - June 1986, £4,500.

Cloning and expression of M. tuberculosis antigen genes

American Cyanamid, June 1984 - June 1987, £51,000.

Equipment for cloning of the macrophage activating factor gene

Special Trustees: London Hospital, January 1985, £4,300.

Serodiagnosis of tuberculosis with monoclonal antibodies

EEC, July 1985 - July 1987, £35,000.

Cloning of lymphokines and vaccines

London University Grants Committee, July 1985, £22,000.

Construction of gas-phase sequencer

Special Trustees: London Hospital, April 1985 - April 1987, £25,000.

Isolation and sequencing of human macrophage activating factors

North East Thames Regional Health (Locally Organised Research Scheme), April 1986 - April 1989, £35,000.

Immunology of acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome

Trustees: Dr Harding/H .Stevenson, April 1986 - April 1990, £106,000.

Microinjection of mRNA into macrophages (Epifluorescent attachment )

AIM, June 1986, £1,500.

AIDS immunology

London University Grants Committee, December 1986, £1,900.

Recombinant DNA direct expression for characterisation of AIDS viral antigen which induce human T lymphocyte responses

British Medical Research Council, January 1987 - January 1990, £118,000.

Automated DNA sequencing

Chelsea Instruments, July 1987, £10,000.

Trial of rifabutin in HIV carriers

Farmitalia, June 1987 - June 1989, £100,000.

Seroepidemiology of HIV in West Africa

PhD tuition and bench fees, September 1987, £27,000.

Synthesis and characterisation of HIV antigenic peptides

British Medical Research Council, July 1988 - July 1992, £120,000.

Consumables for synthesis and characterisation of HIV peptides

British Medical Research Council, January 1987 - 1989, £9,500.

Equipment for cloning HIV T lymphocyte defined antigens

British Medical Council, February 1988, £10,000.

Purification and sequencing of monoclonal antibody defined M. tuberculosis antigens

Society for General Microbiology, March 1988, £3,265.

AIDS project

Sir James Reckitt Charity, October 1988 - October 1993, £10,000.

Serodiagnosis of tuberculosis with monoclonal antibodies, recombinant antigens and synthetic peptides

EEC, December 1988 - December 1991, £100,000.

Gene electroporation apparatus

British Medical Research Council, April 1989, £2,774.

Serodiagnosis of HIV1/2 in West Africa

Wellcome PLC, June 1989, £1,000.

Improved vaccine recombinants for tuberculosis vaccine

National Institute of Health (NIH), September 1989 - August 1992, £213,321.

An investigation into the role of a novel 10kDa heat shock protein in rheumatoid arthritis, using recombinant DNA technology

Arthritis and Rheumatism Council, January 1990 - January 1993, £88,895.

Equipment for synthesis and characterisation of HIV antigenic peptides

British Medical Research Council, January 1990, £18,451.

AIDS vaccine: travel

British Medical Research Council, July 1990 - July 1991, £2,310.

M. tuberculosis genome mapping and sequencing

Pathology Research Fund, March 1991 - February 1992, £4,878.

Synthesis and characterisation of HIV antigenic peptides (supplement)

British Medical Research, March 1991 - September 1991, £16,000.

Study of the structure HIV p6

British Medical Research Council, January 1992 - January 1993, £4,000.

Preliminary studies of HIV infection in SCID-hu mice

British Medical Research Council, January 1992 - January 1993, £4,500.

Study of feasibility of clinical vaccine trials in humanised mice

South West Thames Region – LORS, Dec 1991-Dec 1992, £36,780.

HIV PCR diagnosis

South West Thames Region, Jan 1993-Jan 1994, £25,000S.

CID mouse studies

Pathology Research Fund, Nov 1992-Nov 1993, £4,000.

Transfer of inflammatory demyelination into SCID mice

British Medical Research Council, Aug 1993-Aug 1994, £11,680.

Studies of human blood brain barrier

Pathology Research Fund, Nov 1993, £4,000.

Humanised SCID mice

Sir James Reckitt, Nov 1993-Nov 1996, £6,000.

Immortalisation of human brain endothelial cells

Pathology Research Fund, Nov 1994-Nov 1996, £3,750.


British Council, 1994-1995, £2,000.

Study of human T cell responses in arthritis

Ital farmaco, Oct 1991-Oct 1996, £87,000.

Dormancy of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Pathology Research Fund, Nov 1995-Nov 1997, £4,000.

Activity of metronidazole in model murine tuberculosis

British Medical Research Council, 1996-1997, £29,749.

Study of relationship of human herpesvirus 6 multiple sclerosis

British Medical Research Council, 1996-1997, £39,000.

Chaperonin 10-induced bone remodelling in arthritis and bone infection: molecular studies

Arthritis & Rheumatism Council, 1996-1999, £83,145.

Study of the actions of Escherichia coli chaperonin 60on bone cells

Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Settlement, 1997-2000, £140,000.

Study of DNA sequences in multiple sclerosis

Trustees of R.M. Burton, 1997-2000, £10,000.

Microbes in patients with artherosclerosis

Pathology Research Fund, 1999, £3,849.

Identification and cloning of the myeloid cell surface receptor for chaperonin 60

BBSRC, 1999-2002, £90,372.

Three-dimensional structure determination of M.tuberculosis proteins

Pathology Research Fund, 1999-2000, £3,901.

Meningococcal proteins immunogenic to CD4+ T cells

Pathology Research Fund, 2000, £2,000.

Global gene control in tuberculosis

Pathology Research Fund, 2000, £3,000.

Intracellular pathogen host cell interactions: Differential gene expression, cell biology, pathogenesis and immunity

Medical Research Council Co-operative Group, Grant Reference Number: G9800300, 1998-2004, £317,312.

Microbiology Research Unit

Trustees of R.M. Burton Settlement, 1998, £1,000,000.

Microbiology Research Unit

Raymond Burton Medical Fund, 1999-2004, £583,261.

Bacterial infections of bone and joints: Elucidation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for bacterially-induced bone resorption

Arthritis and Rheumatism Council (Programme Grant), Reference Number: H0600, 1999-2004, £611,401.

Chaperonin 60: A pathogenic factor in coronary artery disease?

British Heart Foundation Reference Number: PG/99117), 2000-2003, £132,638.

Impact of intestinal microflora on allergy development

European Commission, Reference Number: QLK4-2000-00538, 2001-2004, SGHMS: £470.024.

Impact of intestinal microflora on allergy development

European Commission, Reference Number: QLK4-2000-00538, 2001-2004, SGHMS: £470.024.

Overall amount: £1,550,000.

Novel drug targets specific to persistent (latent) tuberculosis infection: Crystallisation, structure determination and functional studies

European Commission, Reference Number: QLK2-CT-2002-01682, 2002-2005, SGHMS: £111,838.

Overall amount: £496,000. 

A study of the anti-osteolytic activity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis chaperonin 60.1

Arthritis & Rheumatism Council (Project Grant), Reference Number: C0670, 2003-2006, SGHMS: £38,011.50, UCL: £38,011.50, Bath: £89,846. 

Overall amount: £165,869.

Circulating human chaperonins and susceptibility to coronary heart disease. Is there a relationship between psychological and cellular stress?

British Heart Foundation, Reference Number: PG/03/029, 2003-2006, £201,111.

Charities Foundation Aid (CAF)

Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4TA,A  Coates, 2004-2005, £20,000.

Characterisation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis gene knockouts in vivo

Pathology Research Fund, Dec 2003, £3,666.

3 year MRC Industrial Collaborative Studentship

Medical Research Council

Circulating human chaperonins and susceptibility to coronary heart disease. Is there a relationship between psychological and cellular stress?

B Henderson, A Steptoe, A Coates, M Marmot, British Heart Foundation, 14 Fitzhardinge Street, London, W1H 4DH. Reference Number: PG/03/029. 2003-2006. £201,111.

Microbiology Research Unit

ARM Coates, Raymond Burton Medical Fund, 2003-2008, £550,000.

New tuberculosis drugs

H Blockter, A Coates, P Driscoll, H-J Hecht, M Kalesse, F Sasse, G Schneider, M Singh. European Commission, Brussels, Belgium. 2005-2008.

SGUL: Euro 339.900 (£267,606.64).

Overall amount: Euro 1.800.000 (£1,417,156.20).

A reappraisal of mycobacterial chaperonin 60 structure and function and its role in tuberculosis

Lund P, Coates A, Henderson B., The Wellcome Trust, 2007-2010, £151,307.

Pilot study into the mechanism of action heat shock protein inhibition of inflammatory response

Pathology Research Fund, September 2007, £3,600.

StopLatent-TB-Latent Tuberculosis: New tools for the detection and clearance of dormant Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Sanz JM, Matilla MJ, Garcia MJ, Martoccia RM, Fattorini L, Cardona Iglesias P-J, Coates A,Gonzalez-Y-Merchand JA, Del Portillo P, Neyrolles O. 1 February 2008-31 January 2011.

SGUL: Euros 389,384 (£306,482.09).

Total sum awarded: Euro 2,716,003.50  (£2,137,821.79).

Industrial Collaborative Studentship Scheme A study of prevention of antibiotic resistance emergence in vivo

Medical Research Council, 2009-2012, £80,000.


BacATTACK, Coates ARM, Hu Y. 1 February 2012-31 January 2015.

Total grant: 2,990,698 euros.


Predict TB

Model-based preclinical development of anti-tuberculosis drug combinations

1st March 2012-28th Feb 2016

Total grant: 15 million Euros.

SGUL: 700,000 Euros

Helperby Therapeutics: Antibiotic Discovery

2005-2020, £1,000,000.

MRC Hu Y, Coates A, Harrison

Total amount: £528,782.51, MRC contribution 80%: £423,026

Period: 2 years, June 2020 to May 2022.


Total grants £7 million, at the rate of £235,000 per year.

Professor Coates serves on the Scientific Advisory committee of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) and serves as a director on the board of Biotechs from Europe innovating in Anti-Microbial resistance Alliance (BEAM).

He founded the networks Antibiotic Discovery-UK, Antibiotic Discovery-Global, and co-founded BEAM and the world’s first antibiotic discovery charity called Antibiotic Research-UK.

In March 2022 Professor Coates was approached and invited to be Head of a prominent UK Medical School which needed to find an outstanding Leader who could help to solve the world’s biggest challenges and have an extraordinary impact in society. In subsequent discussions he was told that his research was considered excellent and stellar.

On 31st March 2022 the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership Board agreed that he continue as a permanent member of the GARDP Scientific Advisory Committee for a second term of three years. GARDP is the leading not-for-profit developer of combinations of repurposed antibiotics, and new antibiotics.

At the AGM on April 7th 2022 of the "Biotech companies from Europe innovating in Antimicrobial resistance " (BEAM) Alliance, Anthony Coates was reappointed as a Director. This Alliance represents more than 50 Antibiotic biotech companies in Europe.

Professor Coates was appointed as an expert panel member for Antibiotic Resistance advising the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee in 2014.

He was one of the founding Trustees for the charity “Antibiotic Research UK – Developing New Antibiotics” on 18 July 2014 (Charity Number 1157884).


  • Chairman of International Consortium for Trials of Chemotherapeutic Agents in Tuberculosis (INTERTB)
  • Co-chair of the External Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) MRC-DBT Joint Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Research UK-India.
  • Member of International European Union Consortium in Tuberculosis (Antiresdev)
  • Member of International European Union Consortium in Tuberculosis (PredictTB)
  • Member of International European Union Consortium in Tuberculosis (BacAttack)
  • Member of the Bactiguard Scientific Advisory Board, Sweden to 31st December 2010.
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