Development consortium awarded £1million to produce new family of antibiotics

innovate_UK_logoInnovate UK, UK’s innovation agency originally known as the Technology Strategy Board, has awarded nearly £1million in funding to a consortium developing a platform for production of a new family of antibiotics.

The partnership, which is formed between industrial biotechnology company Ingenza and the National Physical Laboratory and the University of Plymouth, is creating a new class of drugs based upon bacteriocins.

Bacteriocins are toxins produced by bacteria capable of destroying closely-related strains. These toxins will be used to create derivatives that have drug-like properties but do not compromise the original molecule’s ability to kill bacteria.

The project aims to tackle the challenge posed by growing resistance to certain antibiotics and has parallels with the development of penicillin; deriving several antibiotics from a single source to enhance range and effectiveness.

Work will begin from a model bacteriocin developed at Plymouth university and harness the three partners’ expertise in biotechnology, synthetic biology and bacteriocin knowledge.

Ingenza will create a synthetic biology-based bacteriocin manufacturing protocol to prepare each derivative for clinical evaluation and commercialisation.

Ian Fotheringham, managing director of Ingenza, commented: “We are delighted to have secured funding from Innovate UK for this exciting collaborative project and look forward to working closely with National Physical Laboratory and the University of Plymouth over the next three years in a bid to combat the enormous problem of antibiotic resistance.”

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