EbsArgentTM combines ebselen and silver (argent). Ebselen is a synthetic organoselenium drug molecule with antimicrobial activity and silver is commonly used as an antibiotic coating on medical devices and wound dressings.


Ebselen, an organoselenium compound, mimics glutathione peroxidase and peroxiredoxin activities. It is a multifunctional compound, which catalyzes several essential reactions for the protection of cellular components from oxidative and free radical damage. Ebselen has been under clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of various disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, stroke, atherosclerosis, and cancer. 


Silver has long proven to prevent the growth of dangerous germs. During World War I, deep battlefield wounds were treated with silver. Today’s medical devices often contain silver coatings and silver is found in bandages and ointments because of its antibacterial properties. Studies have also shown that silver is effective against bacteria that are becoming resistant. Silver as a biocide has only recently been researched but the silver ions’ ability to penetrate cell walls of bacteria, without injuring mammalian cells, is highly interesting in drug development.

EbsArgentTM – A Swedish innovation

The founder of Thioredoxin Systems AB, Arne Holmgren (1940-2020), was active as professor and director of the Medical Nobel Institute for Biochemistry at the Karolinska Institutet. He discovered that combining ebselen with even very small concentrations of silver yielded highly synergistic effects against multi-resistant bacterial strains. EbsArgentTM targets the bacterial thioredoxin reductase system which is crucial for bacterial viability and growth but causes no overt toxicity in humans. By targeting these specific redox pathways, EbsArgentTM becomes an efficient biocide that can protect both the body and surfaces from bacteria.

Promising research results with the technology of Thioredoxin Systems AB

Professor Holmgren and his research group studied the therapeutic effects of EbsArgent and related compounds for several years, and some of his former group members are continuing that work up to present day. Promising results on the Thioredoxin Systems AB technology, as covered by the company patent portfolio, include the following key observations (see the linked research articles for further in-depth information):

  • EbsArgent effectively kills uropathogenic E. coli or Acinetobacter baumannii, showing curative efficacy in mouse models. Link and Link
  • Ebselen topically given on skin has efficacy against infections by multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in rat models. Link
  • EbsArgent is effective in killing multidrug-resistant E. coli strains and shows promising efficacy in treatment of peritonitis with such pathogens in mouse models. Link
  • Ebselen kills several pathogenic microbes of several species, including Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Link
  • Ebsulfur kills Trypanosoma brucei, the pathogen for African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness. Link
  • Ebselen as well as Ebsulfur kill pathogenic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Helicobacter pylori. Link