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.
The NPDI and Signum Dermalogix are collaborating to characterize components of this Natural Product collection for possible dermatological uses. Dermalogix develops cosmetic and drug candidates for skin care and have in-house screening capabilities to assess the activity and safety of potential cosmetic ingredients. Utilizing a cell-free radical scavenging assay, well-characterized natural extracts from the NPDI library are tested to identify those with the most potent radical scavenging capacities (antioxidant properties). Hits are then screened for anti-inflammatory in a dermal cell line. This work describes our recent screening results in profiling a pilot set of diverse samples and demonstrate the cosmetic product opportunities within this collection. [Read more…]
WEST HILLS, N.Y., Feb. 17, 2014 – KannaLife Sciences, Inc. (“KannaLife”) announces that it has entered into a Materials Transfer and Testing Agreement with the Natural Product Discovery Institute (NPDI), a division of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute (BSBI), to provide KannaLife with access to a collection of more than 100,000 extracts from plants, fungi, and bacteria, previously owned by Merck and donated to the Institute in 2011. The NPDI natural products library is regarded as one of the best collections of screen ready druggable libraries made from living organisms. [Read more…]
The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded a SBIR Phase I grant (R43AI104086A) to Enantigen Therapeutics, Inc. and the Natural Products Discovery Institute to study new technologies for addressing viral hepatitis infection. The goal of this program is to identify natural products that inhibit the formation, maintenance or expression of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), the persistent form of HBV infection that is essential for the virus life cycle. Despite being essential, cccDNA has not been the target of high throughput screening (HTS), largely because of practical limitations. [Read more…]
The Natural Products Discovery Institute (NPDI) received a Keystone Innovation Network Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED Grant# C000052701) to support the exploitation of the natural product resource that is located at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown, PA . This transfer to PA resulted in a net “Brain Gain” of four new scientists formerly employed in NJ, who developed and utilized this collection. “Natural Products” refer to compounds derived from living organisms, such as plants and microorganisms. Together, this is one of the largest, most diverse, and most carefully developed natural products collections in the world. It has been the source of billion dollar generating drugs, but it was very narrowly mined. [Read more…]
NIH Sponsored Investigator Dr. David Kingston from Virginia Tech Gains Access to the Formerly Private Merck Natural Products Collection
The Natural Products Discovery Institute (NPDI) has signed its first major deal to allow qualified researchers to access the formerly private Merck Natural Products Collection that it received as a donation this past summer. Dr. David Kingston, University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech, was funded by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health to be the first outside researcher to gain access to this world-class collection of plant natural products. [Read more…]