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Isolating novel fungi for antibiotic discovery

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / 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: 2007
Title: Isolating novel fungi for antibiotic discovery
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R43AI072895-01
Award Amount: $598,516.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long term goal of this project, is to develop novel antibiotics active against clinically important multi-drug- resistant (MDR) bacterial pathogens such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and hig hly drug resistant Gram negative pathogens like Pseudomonas auruginosa. The goal of obtaining novel antibiotics will be achieved by employing a newly developed method (the 'fungal trap ) to isolate and grow previously uncultured microfungi as a source of n ew antibiotic molecules. The majority of antibiotics in use today were discovered from environmental microorganisms, including microfungi. However, known microbe-derived antibiotics were discovered from only a very small fraction (lt1%) of the diverse micr oorganisms that are culturable using standard techniques. Microfungi are a source of numerous valuable drugs used to treat diseases such as, bacterial infections (e.g. cephalosporins), fungal infections (e.g. candins), hypercholesterolemia (statins), and i nflammatory diseases (e.g. cyclosporin). The world-wide market for antibiotics exceeds 20 billion. Sorely needed antibiotics active against MDR pathogens have the potential to yield a substantial market opportunity. In this Phase I project, we will evalua te and implement the fungal-trap method for isolating difficult to culture environmental microfungi, and we will generate a proof-of-principle that microfungi cultured using this method will produce antibiotic activities. Data derived from this project w ill provide the basis for phase II in which we will continue to develop our newly discovered lead antibiotics. Specific aims of the project: Aim 1. To evaluate the fungal trap method for culturing microfungi, we will isolate 200 nonredundant fungal isolate s using fungal traps and 50 fungal isolates using standard plating methods. We will compare 18s rDNA sequences of isolates derived from fungal traps and Petri plates. Aim 2. To identify antibiotic activities, we will perform a pilot screen for antibiotic p roduction by fungal isolates derived from fungal traps: we will screen 200 fungal trap derived isolates for antibiotic activity, and prioritize 50 validated antibiotic-producing isolates for further analysis. Aim 3. To identify novel lead antibiotics, we w ill analyze the active components from 25 high priority fungal- trap derived isolates and compare them against known antibiotics.

Principal Investigator:

Charles M. Moore

Business Contact:

Aram T. Salxman
Small Business Information at Submission:


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