Partner JMI Laboratories will use pre-clinical services provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to assess the antibiotic.
It follows earlier lab testing in which iclaprim was shown to be more than 32-times more potent than ampicillin, the current standard of care.
“If the results of this study confirm that iclaprim has potent activity against L. monocytogenes, we believe that iclaprim could be a potentially useful treatment option and would warrant further study," said David Huang, Motif’s chief medical officer.
While rare, listeria causes around 1,600 deaths in the US. It can cause septicaemia or meningitis, and about 260 people die from it.