Due to the increasing development of antibiotic resistances by bacterial pathogens, there is a tremendous need for the development of new antibiotic lead structures. Major causes of concern are hereby Gram-negative bacteria as infections with those bacteria are very difficult to treat.
Gram-negative bacteria are a group of bacteria that do not retain the crystal violet stain used in the Gram staining method of bacterial differentiation. They are characterized by their cell envelopes, which are composed of a thin peptidoglycan cell wall sandwiched between an inner cytoplasmic cell membrane and a bacterial outer membrane. Gram-negative bacteria are spread worldwide, in virtually all environments that support life. The gram-negative bacteria include the model organism Escherichia coli, as well as many pathogenic bacteria.
Thus there is a high need to identify and develop new antibiotics that are highly effective and can overcome current resistances.
Albicidin has the potential to be such a compound as it displays remarkable antibacterial activity against various Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms. Initially described as an antibiotic and phytotoxic substance derived by the plant pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas albilineans in 1985 its molecular structure was determined only recently. Currently, limiting factors in providing sufficient material for therapeutic usage are the only low amounts of albicidin obtainable.
Scientists at a Berlin-based German university now developed a convergent total synthesis route toward albicidin enabling the production in multi gram amounts of albicidin that can be used for further profiling of its drug properties. Within this synthesis route various building blocks were identified that can be synthesized separately. Modifications within these building blocks enable the production of several derivatives with different properties.
Those variations in the building blocks of albicidin can provide compounds with relevant antibiotic properties, in particular an antibiotic activity against resistant pathogens.
The university is interested in a cooperation in the framework of a license agreement or a research cooperation agreement. A future licensee would have the authorization to use the synthesis route in return for a fee or a share of royalties. They would also agree to a research cooperation agreement which leads to further profiling of the drug properties of albicidin.