One problem in treating fungal and bacterial infections is that existing antibiotics act against a relatively limited set of targets. This limited set of products with similar mechanisms of action gives rise to rapid and extensive microbial drug resistance. Elitra Pharmaceuticals Inc. hopes to address the problem by increasing both the number of antimicrobial targets and therapeutics.

The company is developing a relational database of essential genes and proteins in pathogenic organisms - those required for a cell's growth and survival - using its ultra-rapid functional genomics technology, and then applying its high-throughput screening technology to select compounds against discovered targets. Elitra's functional genomics technology originally was developed at San Diego State University by company founder Judith Zyskind.