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Development of antibacterial compounds that block essential transport function

Descrizione del progetto

Studiare nuovi antibiotici per combattere la resistenza ai farmaci

L’emergere della resistenza agli antibiotici rappresenta una seria sfida alla nostra capacità di combattere efficacemente le malattie infettive. Le aziende farmaceutiche devono affrontare notevoli criticità e incertezze nello sviluppo di nuovi antibiotici a causa della continua evoluzione della resistenza ai farmaci. In alcuni patogeni, le proteine svolgono un ruolo fondamentale nell’acquisire vitamine essenziali come unica fonte. Sfruttando strutture cristalline all’avanguardia, è stato possibile progettare e sintetizzare molecole in grado di inibire allostericamente l’assorbimento di più vitamine. Il progetto VitaminBlock, finanziato dall’UE, intraprenderà test completi e studi di pre-commercializzazione allo scopo di affrontare l’urgente necessità di nuovi antibiotici e offrire una strada promettente per combattere la resistenza agli antibiotici.


Development of new antibiotics is crucial in future since antibiotic resistance is a rapidly growing problem, which severely threatens our ability to combat infectious diseases. Despite the numerous efforts by International Organisations and Governments, Pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to carry out the costly drug development, as the returns are uncertain and evolving drug resistance weakens their business case further. New solutions are thus called for. We have obtained fundamental insight in the mechanisms and proteins, which mediate uptake of multiple B-type vitamins that are indispensable for bacterial growth. The proteins are the only route for vitamin acquisition in many notorious pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae, against which novel antibiotics are urgently needed. Based on our breakthrough crystal structures, we have designed and synthesized molecules that allosterically inhibit the uptake of multiple vitamins. This has led to the discovery of several compounds having potential as antibiotic medicines. What is exciting, our approach enables to target specific pathogens, without affecting many beneficial strains, thereby being effective without causing adverse drug events, which is a major advantage compared to the traditional antibiotics. In the Proof of Concept project, we aim to explore the potential of the compounds for drug development and test them thoroughly, for obtaining important proof for potential partners and investors. In addition, we will carry out pre-commercialisation studies aiming at perfecting the commercialisation strategy, protecting the IP ad well as strengthen the network for the best possible commercialisation outcome. Given the technological and pre-commercial proof of concept will be successful, we are expecting our approach to raise a lot of interest in Pharmaceutical industry, racing to find new ways to tackle the antimicrobial resistance.

Meccanismo di finanziamento

ERC-POC - Proof of Concept Grant

Istituzione ospitante

Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 150 000,00
Broerstraat 5
9712CP Groningen
Paesi Bassi

Mostra sulla mappa

Noord-Nederland Groningen Overig Groningen
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Costo totale
€ 150 000,00

Beneficiari (1)