Henrik Franzyk

Henrik Franzyk


Henrik Franzyk (HF) has for more than 15 years designed and synthesized biologically active peptides and peptidomimetics as well as glycolipids, polyamines and cationic lipids (used as components for drug delivery and nanoparticles). In addition, HF has performed optimization of several lead structures via medicinal chemistry.

Current projects are supported by Novo Nordisk Foundation (Challenge project partnership: Center for Peptide-Based Antibiotics), EU (IMI project: ENABLE) and The Danish Research Council (DFF).

The scientific outcome during 2016-2021 comprise identification and characterization of:

(i) Potent antibacterial peptidomimetics with activity against multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria and biofilm;

(ii) Peptides/peptidomimetics capable of enhancing the activity of antibiotics when used in combination therapy; 

(iii) Antimicrobial activity of peptide-PNA conjugates (e.g. antimicrobial peptides or bacteria-penetrating moieties covalently linked to peptide nucleic acid oligomers);

(iv) Immunomodulatory peptidomimetics capable of LPS- and LTA-neutralization as well as with nanomolar agonistic and antagonistic selective effects on formyl peptide receptor 2 (FPR2); 

(v) Components for drug delivery and nanoparticular drug formulations, e.g. of siRNA aiming at silencing of genes (or the resulting mRNA) involved in chronic diseases. 

During 2016-2021 these studies have been published in 65 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Currently, HF has in total published 158 peer-reviewed articles and monographies, 4 book chapters, 3 patents, and 82 other research contributions (e.g. popular science communications, proceedings, and posters).


Bibliometric data: 

h-index: 31 (Web of Science);  37 (Google Scholar)

i10-index: 102 (Web of Science); 114 (Google Scholar)

Citations: 3271 (Web of Science); 4285 (cf. Google Scholar)

Total impact: 729.750 (all peer-reviewed articles and reviews); Average IF: 4.619 

ORCID:  orcid.org/0000-0002-2822-1927


Primære forskningsområder

Design, synthesis and optimization of biologically active compounds:

  • Structure-activity studies of antibacterials and potentiators of antibiotics;
  • Bacterial delivery of antisense antibiotics (peptide-PNA conjugates)
  • Mechanisms and structural optimization of immunomodulating peptides and peptidomimetics;
  • Synthesis of component for formulation of antisense RNA-based drugs;
  • Synthesis of unnatural amino acid and peptidomimetic building blocks.

Undervisnings- og vejledningsområder

  • Biopharmaceuticals: Bioorganic Chemistry (theory and excercises; course director)

Aktuel forskning

Partnership in Center for Peptide-Based Antibiotics (Cepan):

In response to the critical and increasing worldwide threat to human health posed by emergence of bacterial resistance to currently used antibiotics, the overall aim of the center is to establish a discovery platform that focuses on peptide-based antibiotics by exploiting unleashed advantages of peptides that interact with the bacterial envelope. Discovery of leads, therapeutic strategies and antibiotic targets useful for treatment of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections, and elucidation of mechanism of action are core activities.

In particular, the group of HF focuses on discovery and optimization of antibacterial peptidomimetics targeting pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, peptide/peptidomimetic-based adjuvant antibiotics are investigated as a means for circumventing resistance to current antibiotics and to sensibilize bacteria to antibiotics that they are inherently resistant to. Also, synergistic combinations representing a multimodal treatment regimen will be examined as an approach for reducing risk of resistance development. Finally, the antisense antibacterial concept and novel  carriers for efficient delivery of potential antibacterial compounds with inherently poor bacterial uptake are currently explored.

See more at: https://cepan.ku.dk/




Ashif Yasin Shaikh (building blocks for PNA synthesis, and optimization of MW-assisted PNA synthesis)

Nicki Frederiksen (Antimicrobial peptides and peptidomimetics as antibiotic hits/leads and potentiators of antibiotics )


Anita Wester (Delivery moieties for antibacterial antisense peptide nucleic acid oligomers; development of solid-phase synthesis methods: trityl protecting groups and on-resin guanidinylation)

PhD student:

Johan Storm Jørgensen (topic: Cyclic antimicrobial peptides and peptidomimetic potentiators of antibiotics)     

Lab technician:

Uraiwan Adamsen 



National collaborators (previous and ongoing projects):

Peter E. Nielsen (Prof., Dept. Cellular and Molecular Biology, SUND, KU);

Anders Løbner-Olesen (Prof., Dept. Biology, Science, KU);

Luca Guardabassi (Prof. , SUND, KU);

Peter P. Damborg (Assoc. Prof., SUND, KU);

Hanne Ingmer (Prof. SUND, KU);

Statens Serum Institut (several senior scientists);

Camilla Foged (Prof., Dept. Pharmacy, SUND, KU);

Hanne M. Nielsen (Prof., Dept. Pharmacy; KU);

Lone Gram (Prof. Systems Biology, DTU);

Peter M. H. Heegaard (Prof. Immunology, DTU-VET);


International collaborators (previous and ongoing projects):

Claes Dahlgren (Prof., Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden);

Huamei Forsman (Assoc. Prof., University of Gothenburg, Sweden);

R. E. W. Hancock (Prof., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada);

Liam Good (Assoc. Prof., Royal Veterinary College, London, UK);

Ian Mellor (Assoc. Prof., University of Nottingham, UK); 

Lorenzo Stella (Prof., Univ. Rome, Italy);

Marialuisa Mangoni (Prof., Univ. Rome, Italy);

Izuddin Fahmy Abu (Prof., Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).


Udvalgte publikationer

  1. Udgivet

    End Group Modification: Efficient Tool for Improving Activity of Antimicrobial Peptide Analogues towards Gram-Positive Bacteria

    Jahnsen, R. O., Sandberg-Schaal, A., Frimodt-Møller, N., Nielsen, Hanne Mørck & Franzyk, Henrik, 23 jan. 2015, I: European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V. 95, Part A, s. 40–46 7 s.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  2. Udgivet

    Lipidated α-Peptide/β-Peptoid Hybrids with Potent Anti-inflammatory Activity

    Skovbakke, S. L., Larsen, C. J., Heegaard, P. M. H., Moesby, L. & Franzyk, Henrik, 2015, I: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 58, 2, s. 801-813 13 s.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  3. Udgivet

    Nanoparticle-mediated delivery of the antimicrobial peptide plectasin against Staphylococcus aureus in infected epithelial cells

    Water, J. J., Smart, S., Franzyk, Henrik, Foged, Camilla & Nielsen, Hanne Mørck, 18 feb. 2015, I: European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V. 92, s. 65-73 9 s.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  4. Udgivet

    Tailoring Cytotoxicity of Antimicrobial Peptidomimetics with High Activity against Multidrug-Resistant Escherichia coli

    Jahnsen, R. D., Sandberg-Schaal, A., Vissing, K. J., Nielsen, Hanne Mørck, Frimodt-Møller, N. & Franzyk, Henrik, 20 mar. 2014, I: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 57, 7, s. 2864-2873

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  5. Udgivet

    Characterization of a proteolytically stable multifunctional host defense peptidomimetic

    Jahnsen, R. D., Haney, E. F., Franzyk, Henrik & Hancock, R. E. W., 10 okt. 2013, I: Chemistry & Biology. 20, 10, s. 1286-1295 10 s.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  6. Udgivet

    Antimicrobial activity of peptidomimetics against multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli: a comparative study of different backbones

    Jahnsen, R. D., Frimodt-Møller, N. & Franzyk, Henrik, 2012, I: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 55, 16, s. 7253-61 9 s.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

ID: 1302063