Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

NACTAR: The lugdunomycins: a new class of polyketide antibiotics with unique chemical scaffold

Aim of the proposal is to develop lugdunomycin into a drug candidate able to treat infectious diseases caused by multi-drug resistant pathogens.

2018 - 2022
Gilles van Wezel

Adri Minnaard, University of Groningen


Antibiotics have been the largest revolution in modern medicine, and have eradicated devastating infectious diseases such as the plague and pestilence. However, antibiotic resistance is rising dramatically, once more threatening public health. Finding new antibiotics is, therefore, a top priority. We have recently discovered an antibiotic with an unprecedented skeleton and biosynthetic complexity, called Lugdunomycin, which is surprisingly derived from a well-known family of antibiotics. Lugdunomycin has escaped detection due to its extremely low production levels. In this project, we will develop lugdunomycin into a candidate antibiotic for clinical trials. To allow this, we will elucidate the biosynthetic pathway and develop a library of derivatives through genetics and synthetic chemistry. We will assess their efficacy and pharmaceutical suitability and analyse resistance development. Thus, we aim to deliver new clinical drug candidates to replenish the pharmaceutical pipelines, in close collaboration with the leading pharmaceutical industry and the Ministry of Health.

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