Lucigen Corporation has recently awarded its largest SBIR Phase II grant to date to fund additional research and development.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Lucigen a total of $2.5M in a Small Business Innovation Research grant to be used to develop metagenomic DNA libraries that could identify hundreds of new antimicrobial and other anti-infective drug candidates.
More than 100,000 Americans die each year due to untreatable microbial infections, most of which are resistant to current antibiotics. A promising source for new antibiotic structures with potentially novel mechanisms of action is found within natural environments, particularly soils, which have the greatest diversity of microbial life.
In Phase II, Lucigen and its partners on the grant, Auburn University and the University of Mississippi, will create several large metagenomic libraries, which will be screened for antimicrobial activity against four multiple drug resistant pathogens. Lucigen expects to uncover hundreds of novel chemical entities using this approach from which lead candidates with high potency against multiple bacterial pathogens will be evaluated for efficacy using a novel in vivo MRSA assay. These technologies represent an important advancement for the science of antibiotic discovery.