Nanologica in €10M EU project to develop new treatments for tuberculosis


Nanologica in €10M EU project to develop new treatments for tuberculosis

Nanologica leverages its carrier materials to play a key part in the four-year EU project, ORCHID. Led by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the €10 million project aims to discover and develop new medicines against multiple drug resistant tuberculosis. 

Nanologica announced that the company is a key player in a €10m EU 4 year project entitled ORCHID. The ORCHID alliance brings together tuberculosis (TB) expertise from academia, government research centres, non-profit organizations and biotech companies. The project is funded by European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme. Within ORCHID, Nanologica’s first goal is to deal with the immediate formulation problems associated with the poor water solubility of GSK’s and other partner members’ TB compounds.

“Nanologica’s carrier materials are instrumental to the pharmaceutical industry,” said Andreas Bhagwani, CEO Nanologica. “Our approach can improve the formulation and solubility of water-insoluble active pharmaceutical compounds, to control their pharmacokinetic parameters, such as bioavailability. With this, we can achieve specific targeted release of active compounds.”

After years of extensive research in the area of pharmaceutical excipients, Nanologica has shown the value of their silica-based porous materials. Through slow and controlled release from the porous particles, the materials significantly enhance the solubility of pharmaceutical compounds. Nanologica’s research team and other leading scientists worldwide will combine their expertise to investigate the potential of three different areas of research, all of which have shown potential effect against TB.

The three areas to be investigated are:

B-lactams – new evidence suggests that a novel approach could make these broad-spectrum antibiotics effective against TB. This approach will seek to design new animal models to demonstrate the potential of B-lactams as treatments against TB.

New InhA inhibitors – GSK, in collaboration with TB Alliance, has recently identified a chemical series that can inhibit recognised known TB target (InhA), which is essential for the bacterium’s survival.  Tool compounds in this series have shown active against multi drug resistant strains (MDR-TB) in the lab and have also demonstrated promising activity in animal models of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  

Whole-cell hits – Compounds that have been shown to be active against TB in High Throughput Screening but whose mode of action is unknown. The project will aim to understand this activity.

The €10M project is part of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), led and partly funded by the European Union which is providing €5.4M. The remainder of the funds will be provided by the ORCHID partners, largely from the provision of expertise and resources.  

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