Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Ocean Medicines Report Summary

Project ID: 690944
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Ocean Medicines (Ocean Medicines)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Ocean Medicines is a network of academic, research centres and SMEs across Europe, with proven experience in higher education, training and endowed with state-of-the art scientific and technical expertise and infrastructures. Our aim is to establish a network of collaboration and knowledge-exchange between industrial and academic partners to further develop lead compounds from marine microorganisms having anticancer or anti-infective effects that have already been identified by the consortium. To achieve this goal a mobility programme will be set up to prepare a new generation of marine biodiscovery scientists that will be trained on how to isolate compounds from bioactive bacteria/microalgae and take these through to semi-industrial scale-up for further development and toxicity testing at the pre-clinical level. The Ocean Medicines programme also considers commercialization, innovation and entrepreneurship activities including how to start a new business and how to favour an industrial career to seconded researchers. We are confident that the establishment of this international research network, with its synergistic effects, will significantly contribute to advance all of the involved labs to the top level in the field of marine drug discovery.
To achieve these goals, our aim is to further develop lead compounds from marine microorganisms having anticancer or anti-infective effects that have already been identified by the consortium in on-going EU projects.
The impact for the Society is clear, since Ocean Medicines has established a secondment programme to complement the transfer of technical knowledge between the consortium members. Internships will allow for placement of ESR/ER within the consortium. Industry participation in the internship program is enhancing commercial exploitation of data and technology knowledge transfer to deliver the expected impacts of the project. Commercial based internships in addition to attendance at seminars and workshops will serve to establish invaluable collaborations beyond the lifetime of the Ocean Medicines project.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Pietro Tedesco was seconded between the period August-December. The objectives of this secondment were to identify the biosynthetic pathways or genes responsible for the antimicrobial activities produced by the three isolates sequenced. E. Tortorella spent 2 months at Sea4Us placement. Samples derived from research activity in IBP-CNR were analysed for viability cells assays (MTS) in the Sea4Us placement. The main objective was fully achieved and the techniques learned were useful to set up new projects aimed at the discovery of new potential anti-cancer compounds from marine sources.
Silvia Lino from Sea4Us visited Jeanette Andersen Laboratory at Marbio. Generally, the aims were to explore further the anticancer potentials from sea4us marine extracts and the antibiotic potential from secondary metabolites extracted from bacteria isolated and cultivated in the previous secondment (at Naples). First aim was of crucial importance since these natural extracts tested previously at Sea4Us did not present analgesic activities but their full potential was still to be addressed. From the 27 extracts tested against a skin cancer cell line, accordingly to the method used at MARBIO Lab, 11 revealed to be active against cancer. De-replication showed some of these extracts can provide new anticancer molecules and further research is to be accomplished until the end of the overall project with other partners.
Silvia Lino from Sea4Us visited the University of Aberdeen (MBC, Aberdeen- UK). Generally, the aims were to further separate and identify the isolated anticancer compounds present at the active fractions. Some supposal new molecules were found but further work is needed for complete clarification of these molecules. Transference of knowledge between seconded and hosting partners was accomplished, resulting on better understand on how institutions can better cooperate internationally in the future, to achieve results faster and possibly provide new solutions for diseases and conditions with great socio-economic impact worldwide like cancer and associated pain.
Kulani Mhlongo conducted a 4-month exchange between August-December 2016. He received intensive training on structural elucidation and purification techniques for application in natural product biodiscovery. Ethyl acetate and methanol extracts from a bioactive marine sponge endosymbiont (PE14-07) was selected for purification and structural elucidation during the exchange period.
UiT perform anticancer and antibacterial testing of the extracts/fractions/pure compounds obtained from a selection of marine microorganisms.
Chiara Papulino, Epi-C scientist, went in the institute Medina under the supervision of Dr. Olga Genilloud. The molecules tested by Chiara Papulino, according with the Ocean Medicine guidelines, are propriety of Epi-C srl. Those molecules of natural and synthetic derivation are under investigation as epigenetic modulators on KDM4A and SIRT targets. In details, Chiara Papulino brought 8 molecules (Table 1) derived from library screening previously performed by Epi-C srl on KDM4A and SIRT1.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

"Although there is no tangible benefit as yet, the hope is that the continuation of the project through other mechanisms will result in the discovery of new drugs through the use of marine biotechnology, to help advance the Drug Industry to begin producing more effective drugs to combat diseases, and for human health and nutrition. This project therefore has both a social and economic impact as many enzymes and compounds from marine sources are being used as the basis for many biotechnology applications, a multibillion dollar industry. This (drug discovery and development) however is a very long process, but this project proves that our biodiversity is ""hot"" and holds so much promise for future commercialization objectives. Therefore, there is a real possibility for the discovery of completely novel structures with potentially valuable bioactivity properties for pharmaceutical development out of the hits we have identified in this project. This has direct significance to the commercialization objectives of the South African Government, and the Department of Science and Technology and its instruments (such as the Technology Innovation Agency) and the Bioeconomy strategy. Lastly, the specific focus of this project on novel antimicrobial strategies, especially against antibiotic resistant pathogens, is well aligned to assisting the Department of Health in its commitment to the Antimicrobial Resistance National Strategy Framework established in 2014."
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