Doylestown, PA. Michael Zasloff, Prof. of Surgery and Pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical Center, is collaborating with Jason Clement at the NPDI to identify a new antibiotic. He is the inventor of magainin and squalamine, two host derived small molecules from frogs and the dogfish shark. He has again found antibiotic activity in a biological specimen based on its profound resistance to bacterial infection. The NPDI will assist in the purification and structure identification of this antibiotic.
John Ondeyka presents: Natural Products Discovery, Genome Mining and the NPDI Collection (P73), Sunday, January 11, 2015, California Ballroom C and Santa Fe Room, 7:30-9:30 PM
The non-profit research organization, the Natural Product Discovery Institute (NPDI), houses the former Merck natural products collection, which is available to all researchers in the scientific community, to screen for pharmaceutical, agricultural, cosmeceutical and nutritional agents. In close collaboration with Fundación MEDINA, the combined collection comprises over 200K extracts from plants and microbial fermentation samples. These extracts are backed up with reserve materials and the producing cultures. Recent screening of the NPDI collection for a number of uses has yielded hits from extracts, which, in 80% of the cases, have not been previously identified as biologically active. In addition, we have begun accumulating purified DNA preparations from our diverse actinomycete collection, and over 15,000 DNA samples are now available for genome mining. This poster will describe the collections, as well as terms under which researchers can access this productive resource through collaborations or fee-for-service arrangements.
BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 4, 2014 – Resistance is … inevitable. “We can’t afford to have huge gaps between discoveries of new antimalarial products; the pace of innovation is quite literally a matter of life and death,” said Virginia Tech’s David G.I. Kingston, University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, director of the Center for Drug Discovery, and an affiliate with the Fralin Life Science Institute. Despite strong worldwide programs that have eradicated malaria from a number of countries, resistance to current malarial drugs continues and about 600,000 people a year die from the disease, mostly children. As the disease and carrier mosquitoes build up resistance to the current crop of antimalarial drugs and pesticides, concern is growing that mortality could increase.
As part of a five-year grant worth more than $2 million, Kingston is working with the Natural Products Discovery Institute in an attempt to isolate natural products that can be used to fight malaria. “When Merck Pharmaceuticals got out of the research and development side of their business, they gave their collection of natural plant extracts to NPDI,” said Kingston. “We are working with NPDI to analyze their extracts in an effort to find suitable antimalarial compounds.” Working with Maria Belen Cassera, an assistant professor of biochemistry at Virginia Tech, and also an affiliate of the Fralin Life Science Institute, and Michael Goetz of the Blumberg Institute (formerly the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research) in Pennsylvania, Kingston is engaged in what he calls a race to find new drugs.