News

Diving for novel antibiotics
Enlarge image

ResearchEUBelgiumUK

Diving for novel antibiotics

15.02.2013 - The EU-project PharmaSea will bring researchers to some of the deepest, coldest and hottest places on the planet in the hunt for novel antibiotics.

Scientists from the UK, Belgium, Norway, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Denmark will work together to collect and screen samples of mud and sediment from huge, previously untapped, oceanic trenches. The large-scale, four-year project is backed by more than €9.5 million of EU funding and brings together 24 partners from 14 countries from industry, academia and non-profit organisations.

The PharmaSea project focuses on biodiscovery research and the development and commercialisation of new bioactive compounds from marine organisms, including deep-sea sponges and bacteria, to evaluate their potential as novel drug leads or ingredients for nutrition or cosmetic applications. The international team of scientists is led by Professor Marcel Jaspars of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and coordinated by Dr. Camila Esguerra of the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Only a handful of samples have ever been taken from deep trenches and investigated, so the project is breaking new ground. "PharmaSea will not only be exploring new territory at the bottom of the oceans, but also new areas in ‘chemical space’. With our broad platform of cutting-edge bioassays to detect drug-like activity, we'll be testing many unique chemical compounds from these marine samples that have literally never seen the light of day. We're quite hopeful that we'll find a number of exciting new drug leads", says Dr. Camila Esguerra, Industrial Research Fellow and Lecturer with the Laboratory for Molecular Biodiscovery at the University of Leuven.

The international team will employ strategies commonly used in the salvage industry to carry out the sampling. Using fishing vessels, researchers will drop a sampler on a reel of cables to the trench bed to collect sediment. Scientists will then attempt to grow unique bacteria and fungi from the sediment that can be extracted to isolate novel drug-like molecules for pharmacological testing. Partners from China, Chile, Costa Rica, New Zealand and South Africa will support the PharmaSea project. The first field tests will be carried out next autumn in the Atacama Trench in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, about 100 miles off the coast of Chile and Peru. The team will also search the Arctic waters off Norway and the Antarctic via Italian and South African partners. Deep trenches will also be accessed off New Zealand and China.

Marine organisms that live more than 6,000 meters below the sea level are considered to be an interesting source of novel bioactive compounds as they survive under extreme conditions. "Trenches are separated from each other and represent islands of diversity. They are not connected to each other and life has evolved differently in each one", explains Marcel Jaspars. 

© eurobiotechnews.eu/al

http://www.european-biotechnology-news.com/news/news/2013-01/plunging-new-depths-for-novel-antibiotics.html

New reportEU

25.11.2014 The European biotech IPO slump has finally come to an end. A brand new industry report shows that compared to previous years, the number of biotech IPOs more than doubled in 2014, with London and Paris exchanges leading the pack.

M&AIreland

19.11.2014 It’s not every day that a company is pushed into the top ten of its sector, but that day has come for Actavis. Christmas came early for the new pharma giant after completing a US$66bn (€53bn) takeover battle for the Botox manufacturer Allergan.

Drug DevelopmentGermany

18.11.2014 Merck KGaA and US rival Pfizer have signed a immuno-oncology alliance worth billions: Merck will share the development and commercialisation of its cancer antibody with its US partner – for €2.3bn.

FinanceFrance

14.11.2014 Cosily coinciding with World Diabetes Day on 14th November, French biopharma Les Laboratories Servier has struck a US$1bn deal with US pharma Intarcia Therapeutics for the exclusive rights to Intarcia’s unprecedented therapy for type 2 diabetes.

AwardsFranceGermanySweden

12.11.2014 Glitz and glamour are not words often used to describe science and mathematics. But once a year, celebrities from the science and showbiz world come together at the Breakthough Prizes, a glitzy television bash that honours scientists for their achievements. French life scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier was among this year’s winners.

ResearchEU

10.11.2014 EFPIA’s specialised group Vaccines Europe and the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) have launched a €280m Call for proposals aimed to address the Ebola crisis.

Trade fairGermanyEU

07.11.2014 3,200 participants from 54 countries attended the 20th issue of BIO-Europe. The overall mood of the European biotech sector was modestly optimistic.

AcquisitionGermanyUKSweden

05.11.2014 German Definiens AG has a new owner: Astrazeneca’s biologics R&D arm Medimmune has taken over all the shares of the imaging specialist for US$150m.

AcquisitionSwedenDenmarkUK

04.11.2014 Galecto Biotech has entered an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the acquisition of the company and its lead drug, providing the Swedish company with the potential of reaching over US$400m.

FinancingSwedenNorway

31.10.2014 Another biotech is leaving the European market place in favour of a US IPO. Swedish Cortendo is now planning to go public in the US after raising €8.8m in bridge financing.

Events

All Events

Current issue

All issues

Product of the week

Products

Stock list

All quotes

TOP

  • MEDIGENE3.95 EUR2.33%
  • 4SC0.92 EUR2.22%
  • BIOTEST80.77 EUR1.62%

FLOP

  • CYTOS0.27 CHF-6.90%
  • CO.DON2.56 EUR-3.40%
  • WILEX2.10 EUR-2.78%

TOP

  • CYTOS0.27 CHF58.8%
  • EPIGENOMICS5.20 EUR36.8%
  • FORMYCON10.74 EUR36.1%

FLOP

  • 4SC0.92 EUR-13.2%
  • CO.DON2.56 EUR-12.6%
  • BIOFRONTERA2.59 EUR-9.4%

TOP

  • SANTHERA92.00 CHF2321.1%
  • CO.DON2.56 EUR156.0%
  • BB BIOTECH185.30 EUR63.0%

FLOP

  • CYTOS0.27 CHF-91.9%
  • 4SC0.92 EUR-48.3%
  • THERAMETRICS0.07 CHF-46.2%

No liability assumed, Date: 26.11.2014