The synthesis of eleven novel antibacterial agents is reported. The structures are based on a C 2-symmetric binaphthyl scaffold which holds two identical chains consisting of a short linker, a basic amino acid and a small hydrophobic side chain. Antibacterial activity is revealed for a number of derivatives down to an MIC of 2 μg/mL (2 μM) against Staphylococcus aureus - comparable to vancomycin, and an MIC of 31 μg/mL (31 μM) against some vancomycin-resistant enterococcal strains. © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.