Press release
Active Oxygens
Hanau, January 27, 2020

No Chance for Antibiotic Resistance with Hydrogen Peroxides

Hydrogen peroxide performs an important function in medicine: It is a component of wound disinfectants and dentistry, and is also used for sterilization of medical instruments and decontamination of spaces and surfaces.

Few would suspect the existence of a link between the use of disinfectants and the emergence of antibiotic resistance, but current scientific studies[1],[2] indicate that the use of certain disinfectants can promote development of antibiotic resistance. In the EU countries and the European Economic Area (EEA) alone, the economic consequences are considerable: According to estimates, productivity losses and health expenditure associated with antibiotic resistance amount to 1.5 billion euros annually.

In gram-negative bacteria, hydrogen peroxide is among the few active substances that have not so far been observed to trigger antibiotic resistance. This makes the active oxygen product an agent of choice for wound cleansing.

“Before a disinfectant solution may be used in medicine there are high barriers to be overcome in relation to, for instance, the quality of the raw materials used in each case, which are specified in, for example, good manufacturing practice (GMP),” says Denise Choubardas, an expert in medical applications of hydrogen peroxide at Evonik.

The Essen-based specialty chemicals company offers PERSYNT® 300 GMP hydrogen peroxide, specially produced under GMP conditions, which satisfies exactly these requirements. In addition, Evonik was awarded in early 2019 a CEP (Certificate of Suitability to the monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia) for hydrogen peroxide in GMP quality by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM), the first company ever to have received such certification. This certificate greatly simplifies the approval of a drug product: In their application documents for a new product and in the dossiers that must be kept up to date for every drug substance even after marketing authorization, pharmaceutical manufacturers can simply refer to the CEP and so minimize their own regulatory effort. The certificate can be viewed online in the EDQM database. Along with the broadest GMP-scope for hydrogen peroxide production in the industry, Evonik is setting new standards for hydrogen peroxide in pharmaceutical quality.

[1] Kampf, G. Antibiotic Resistance Can Be Enhanced in Gram-Positive Species by Some Biocidal Agents Used for Disinfection. Antibiotics 2019, 8, 13.

[2] Kampf, G. Biocidal Agents Used for Disinfection Can Enhance Antibiotic Resistance in Gram-Negative Species. Antibiotics 2018, 7, 110.

Company information

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The focus on more specialty businesses, customer-oriented innovative prowess and a trustful and performance-oriented corporate culture form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. They are the lever for profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company. Evonik benefits specifically from its customer proximity and leading market positions. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2018, the enterprise with more than 32,000 employees generated sales of €13.3 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.15 billion from continuing operations.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.