The More Medicines for Tuberculosis (MM4TB) consortium evolved from the highly successful FP6 project, New Medicines for TB (NM4TB), that delivered a candidate drug for clinical development two years ahead of schedule. Building on these firm foundations and exploiting its proprietary pharmacophores, MM4TB will continue to develop new drugs for TB treatment. An integrated approach will be implemented by a multidisciplinary team that combines some of Europe's leading academic TB researchers with two major pharmaceutical companies and four SMEs, all strongly committed to the discovery of anti-infective agents. MM4TB will use a tripartite screening strategy to discover new hits in libraries of natural products and synthetic compounds, while concentrating on both classical and innovative targets that have been pharmacologically validated. Whole cell screens will be conducted against Mycobacterium tuberculosis using in vitro and ex vivo models for active growth, latency and intracellular infection. Hits that are positive in two or more of these models will then be used for target identification using functional genomics technologies including whole genome sequencing and genetic complementation of resistant mutants, yeast three hybrid, click chemistry and proteomics. Targets thus selected will enter assay development, structure determination, fragment-based and rational drug design programs; functionally related targets will be found using metabolic pathway reconstruction. Innovative techniques, based on microfluidics and array platforms, will be used for hit ranking, determining rates of cidality and confirming mechanism of action. Medicinal chemistry will convert leads to molecules with drug-like properties for evaluation of efficacy in different animal models and late preclinical testing.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeCP-IP - Large-scale integrating project