Oppilotech Awarded Innovate UK Grant to Expand Model of Outer Wall of Bacteria
Product News Apr 27, 2018
Oppilotech Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company founded to develop safe, first-in-class, antibacterial therapies, announced it has been selected for funding by Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency.
Oppilotech has been taking a systems biology approach to building a detailed, sophisticated, experimentally validated, computational network model of the outer wall of Gram-negative bacteria. Gram-negative bacteria are responsible for many of the hard-to-treat infections and include pathogens such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
The funding will be used to:
• Expand the model to incorporate peptidoglycan – a key constituent of bacterial cell walls
• Incorporate 3D spatial elements that can simulate entry and activities of antibacterial agents across the cell wall
• Utilise the model to select first-in-class viable drug targets that will form the basis for the development of the next generation of antibiotics
The 12-month project is in partnership with Prof Waldemar Vollmer from Newcastle University – a world-leading expert on bacterial cell wall biology.
John George, PhD Co-founder/CSO of Oppilotech and Reader at Leeds Beckett University, commented, “We are all aware of the growing antibiotic resistance crisis and the need for the development of novel classes of antibiotics. This funding will expand our understanding of how the outer wall of Gram-negative bacteria is assembled and reveal new insights into how this wall can be disrupted. This will form the basis for the development of the next generation of antibiotics. We’d like to thank Innovate UK for providing this vital funding that will go towards developing solutions to the antimicrobial resistance crisis.”
The power and utility of the model has already been employed for Oppilotech’s OPT-200 programme: an early-stage first-in-class antibacterial R&D programme targeting the synthesis of LPS - an important component of the outer wall.