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Novel Approaches to Accessing Secondary Metabolites

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals, LLC
767C Concord Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138-1044
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: Novel Approaches to Accessing Secondary Metabolites
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R43AI063768-01A1
Award Amount: $999,578.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The overall goal of this project is to develop novel therapeutic agents against Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague and one of the most dangerous potential bioweapons. In this exploratory project, we will develop novel approaches to obtain previously inaccessible secondary metabolites from actinomycetes. These organisms have traditionally served as the main source for antibiotics. Recent whole genome sequencing of two well-studied streptomycete species revealed potential additional modules for synthesis of antibiotics. This agrees well with previous data from the literature indicating that the majority of antibiotics are not expressed under in vitro growth conditions. It is reasonable to assume that antibiotics are expressed in a natural environment, where they provide a competitive advantage to the producing organism. Our overall approach is to emulate the natural environment to elicit production of antibiotics. We will develop two elicitation methods in this project. According to our preliminary data, there is a particular type of compounds that emulate a critical aspect of the environment and act as antibiotic elicitors. A detailed examination of the ability of these substances to elicit production of previously unknown antibiotics will be performed with a panel of known actinomycetes. Another method of antibiotic elicitation will be based on culturing microorganisms in their natural environment, soil, in a diffusion chamber that we have previously used to grow "unculturable" microorganisms (Kaeberlein, T., Lewis, K., and Epstein, S.S. (2002) Science 296:1127-1129). Finding new compounds with antimicrobial activity from known organisms using elicitation will constitute proof of principle for the proposed approach. The methods we develop will allow for large-scale screening and validation in Phase II which will lead to the development of a new anti-Y. pestis therapy.

Principal Investigator:

Andrew L. Staley

Business Contact:

Aram Salzman
Small Business Information at Submission:

Novobiotic Pharmaceuticals, LLC
Novobiotic Pharmaceuticals, Llc 767C Concord Ave Cambridge, MA 02138

EIN/Tax ID: 810636088
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No