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Antibiotics from the sea - a MabCent project

Tildelt: kr 7,1 mill.

The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in human pathogenic bacteria has fuelled the need for new antimicrobial compounds and new antibacterial strategies. Marine invertebrates represent a vast resource for discovering novel pharmaceutical co mpounds. Animals living in the Arctic Sea, the Barents Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean are barely studied for their content of antimicrobial factors (and potential drugs and/or drug leads). During the first 6 month period of the 1-year NRC funded proje ct "Antibiotics from the sea" (ES422133), we have screened a variety of invertebrates, collected from the Northern seas, for antimicrobial activities. Several of the organisms studied display potent antibacterial and antifungal activities. The aim of th e present project is to isolate and characterise antimicrobial compounds from marine invertebrates and to identify potential lead structures of pharmaceutical interest. A successful drug discovery relies on the coordinated multi-disciplinary effort of hig hly qualified researchers with special skills in different disciplines. The project will be integrated into MabCent (ES378167), a Centre for Research-based Innovation (CRI) on marine bioactivities and drug discovery. MabCent involves various diciplines an d patnerships of academics at the University of Tromsø, a marine biobank (Marbank), different reserach platforms (Marbio, Fuge-N Proteomics, Norstruct and Smallstruct), and four four commercial companies as partners. Together these groups represent the ex pertise needed to succeed in such a project. Central challenges in the project will be; 1) purify and isolate natural antimicrobial compounds; 2) characterise their chemical structures; 3) characterise their antimicrobial activities; 4) explore their mech anism(s) of action; 5) explore the possibility of synthesis; 6) if peptides: isolate and characterise their genes; and 7) evaluate their therapeutic potential as novel drugs or drug leads.

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HAVKYST-Havet og kysten