Trana Discovery says its researchers have discovered a common means of replication in four of the “most deadly” bacteria linked to hospital-acquired infections.

The Cary-based company reported Tuesday that it has identified what it calls an “anticodon stem loop,” or ASL, in transfer RNA of the bacteria.

Trana says it will use the information to develop tests that could identify compounds for use in treatments.

Trana also believes the advance could lead to creation of a treatment that does not affect beneficial bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract.

“The most troublesome Gram-negative bacteria share a common piece of tRNA that can be exploited in the development of new antibiotics that ultimately can save lives.” said Mike Ossi, MD,Trana’s chief medical officer.

The link was found in Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter baumanii.

Trana has developed proprietary technology for use in drug discovery to combat bacterial, viral, and fungal infectious diseases as well as HIV.

The company owns or has more than 16 patents and patents pending.