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MALNATE, Italy

Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-03-2014 | Award Amount: 7.65M | Year: 2015

Microalgae are a source of secondary metabolites useful as new bioactive compounds. Activity of these compounds against bacterial pathogens and biofilm formation has not been determined yet. Biofilm formation is especially important in infections and tissue inflammation related to implants and catheters. These problems finally cause a release of the implant, which must be removed and replaced by a new one, entailing an increase in antibiotic consumption, together with a health costs of about 50,000-90,000 per infection episode. Taking both problems in account, the search of new antimicrobial agents that will be effective against the bacteria in their two ways of life, planktonic and biofilm stage, is a priority need in the clinical practice. For this reason, the overall objective of NOMORFILM project is to search for antibiofilm compounds isolated from microalgae that will be useful in the treatment of this kind of infections and could be incorporated in the manufacturing of medical prosthetic devices. For this purpose, 4,000 microalgae species will be deeply screened specifically for new antibacterial and antibiofilm molecules. Structural elucidation of bioactive compounds from these extracts will assure that only new chemical entities, therefore with anticipated new mechanisms of action, will arise to further project stages, those including toxicity tests and animal models. This project also addresses the biosynthesis of the targeted bioactive compounds in sustainable microalgae co-cultures, diminishing cultivation costs by mimicking natural aquatic ecosystems. Most industrially interesting antibiofilm molecules will be incorporated into nanoparticles in order to develop manufacturing methodologies able to incorporate these compounds into real prosthetic devices matrixes. Marketing of results are assured by the presence of diverse SMEs along the manufacture and distribution of prosthetic devices, and the corresponding consortium agreements with respect to IPRs


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.52M | Year: 2012

TRAIN-ASAP addresses a very urgent public health issue. The lack of effective antibacterial drugs against resistant bacteria poses a serious threat to human health and has huge economical consequences to the healthcare system. The objective of this ITN is to fill the current gap between the burden of infections due to resistant bacteria and the strong need for alternative solutions to combat antibiotic resistance in both humans and animals. Young researchers will be trained in the scientific and complementary skills needed to implement a broad range of antibacterial approaches including discovery of new antibiotics, synthesis of antimicrobial peptides with improved pharmacological properties, improvement of the clinical efficacy of currently known drugs, and alternative strategies based on phages and bacteriocin-producing organisms. TRAIN-ASAP is a multidisciplinary and intersectorial ITN dedicated to the scientific and professional training of 14 early-stage researchers, including 2 financed by the University of Copenhagen, with the aim to develop novel antibacterial solutions for humans and animals. The consortium includes 7 academic institutions, 9 private enterprises and 2 national research centres representing 9 countries. The training programme is characterized by a unique innovative and multidisciplinary approach based on the use of front line research tools in molecular biology, combinatorial chemistry and in vivo pharmacology, an appropriate balance between scientific and generic skills training, and a strong contribution by the private partners in the form of mentoring, courses and secondments. Considering the urgent need for new drugs to combat antibiotic resistance and the growing demand for skilled scientists specialised in antibacterial drug discovery, TRAIN-ASAP is expected to have a strong impact on the careers of the trainees and result in a lasting collaboration between the partners and political, societal and economical benefits to Europe.

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