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Ingenza’s Proprietary Technology Produces Novel Antimicrobial Peptide
Ingenza is collaborating with researchers at Plymouth University to develop an efficient, scalable microbial production system for epidermicin, an exciting new antibiotic that rapidly kills methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other harmful bacteria.
Mathew Upton, Associate Professor in Medical Microbiology at Plymouth University, explained: “Epidermicin is a stable, 51 amino acid peptide originally found in Staphylococcus epidermidis, which is effective against gram-positive bacteria such as staphylococci, streptococci and enterococci. It is more potent than existing antibiotics, is non-toxic and represents a new tool in the arsenal of antibiotic medications. However, epidermicin is produced in very low amounts in its native biologicalhost and synthetic chemical production of such peptides is prohibitively expensive, which was a big stumbling block for its use in clinical situations.”
“We spoke to Ingenza about using its cutting-edge inABLE® technology to produce commercially viable amounts of epidermicin in an alternative biological production host system. The company is very dynamic and wanted to engage with us, showing a real interest in the project and developing a longer term relationship with the university. With the support of an award from the InnovateUK Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst scheme, we are now working together to develop an integrated approach to the efficient production of epidermicin driven by synthetic biology. We aim to establish a method that produces from tens to hundreds of milligrams of peptide per litre of culture grown. By the end of the project, we hope to be producing sufficient quantities of peptide to carry out pre-clinical toxicity, formulation and stability type studies, eventually leading to a phase one clinical trial. That would be the ideal situation, and a perfect conclusion to the project.”