Hillsborough, NC (May 29, 2009) — Mycosynthetix, Inc., a privately-held Hillsborough biotechnology company, was recently awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the project New Tuberculosis Antibiotics from Filamentous Fungi.
This work is a continuation of an established project with Professor Scott Franzblau at The Institute for Tuberculosis Research at the University of Illinois Chicago, in which fifteen thousand fungi were evaluated for their ability to inhibit the growth of the bacterium which causes TB. For the new project approximately sixty Mycosynthetix fungi shown to be lethal towards Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the preliminary work will be investigated further as a potential source for new medicines. TB is a global health threat made worse by the emergence of drug-resistance and kills someone every 20 seconds according to the latest estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO). TB is second only to HIV as the leading infectious killer of adults worldwide. The grant will provide funds for a one year proof of principle study which will involve scientists at both Mycosynthetix and The Institute for Tuberculosis Research.
Mycosynthetix owns one of the largest collections of fungi in the world and uses them as a source of new medicines and agricultural pesticides. Mycosynthetix has established an in-house program focused on neglected diseases and in addition to the current project addressing TB, work on the discovery of new anti-malarial products is ongoing in collaboration with scientists at the University of South Florida, the University of Hong Kong and Magellan BioScience Group; this latter project is funded by the Medicines for Malaria Venture in Geneva, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.mycosynthetix.com.
About The Institute for Tuberculosis Research
The goal of The Institute for Tuberculosis Research is to discover and develop new effective, low-cost therapeutics for the treatment of tuberculosis. It comprises thirty scientists and support staff led by Professor Scott Franzblau and is housed in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois Chicago. Seehttp://www.uic.edu/pharmacy/research/itr/ for further information.
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