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Strengthening the Research Area of Delivery of Nucleic acid mimics (NAMS) into bacteria to fight the antibiotic crisis

Project description

Reinforcing Portuguese research into novel antibiotic alternatives

Antimicrobial resistance poses a serious medical threat worldwide rendering current antibiotics ineffective. Nucleic acid mimics (NAMs) represent a promising alternative to the search for new antibiotics. NAMs can be tailored against key bacterial genes, kill bacteria or restore their susceptibility to antibiotics. The aim of the EU-funded DelNAM project is to strengthen the infrastructure of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto in Portugal with regards to NAMs development and nanodelivery strategies. By twinning the Faculty with EU institutions, DelNAM aims to improve the delivery strategies of NAMs across the bacterial envelope. At the same time, it will raise awareness about the problem of antimicrobial resistance.


DelNAM aims at Strengthening the Research Area of Delivery of Nucleic Acid Mimics (NAMS) into bacteria to fight the antibiotic crisis. This will be achieved by twinning the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) with outstanding EU institutions with high expertise in the areas of NAMs development and nanodelivery strategies. DelNAM will allow the development of a consolidated strategic research approach and a set of guidelines for exploitation and commercialization of the results that will have a strong regional, national and European impact. The proposal integrates synergies in complementary fields of research that include nanotechnology, synthetic chemistry, microbiology and bioprocess modelling, aiming to obtain scientific breakthroughs that can improve the global health and economy.

The objectives of this proposal are in line with the specific challenge and scope of the topic H2020-WIDESPREAD-2016-2017 of the Twinning call, addressing networking gaps and deficiencies between the research institutions of the Widening countries and internationally-leading counterparts at EU level. This challenge is addressed by twinning FEUP with 2 leading EU research institutions: University of Southern Denmark (SDU), in Odense, Denmark, a global leader in the development and invention of novel NAMs for gene therapy. They contribute with their extensive experience on the synthesis, structural studies and molecular modelling of NAMs; Ghent University (UGhent), in Belgium, an internationally-recognized laboratory for its excellence in the field of nanomedicines for the delivery of drugs and, in particular, nucleic acids. They provide decisive expertise on the design of delivery systems for nucleic acids and their behavior in native biological fluids.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 475 978,75
4099-002 Porto

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Continente Norte Área Metropolitana do Porto
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 475 978,75

Participants (2)