Demuris Receives Innovate UK Grant to Develop Novel Ansamycins

Funding the development of new antibiotics for MDR Gram negative infections

Newcastle, UK –  December 16, 2020 – Demuris Limited a company focused on the discovery and optimization of novel, bioactive compounds from natural sources today announced it has secured a £90,315 grant from Innovate UK to develop a novel series of Ansamycin analogues.

These analogues have been shown to have a mode of action targeting RNA polymerase and have shown activity on a variety of drug resistant pathogens including MDR Gram-negatives.

Natural product molecules made by microbes have been an incredibly productive source of new drugs.   The application of modern genetic and genomic methods are poised to revolutionise the natural product field by opening up vast new sources of previously unexplored chemistry, and Demuris is building a world leading set of platform technologies with which to exploit this opportunity and provide a trove of new drug scaffolds.

Demuris has previously discovered a series of novel Ansamycin molecules related to the clinically important antibiotic rifampicin (Mosaei et al 2018). The Demuris technology platform has now unveiled another improved ansamycin molecule with the potential to treat wide ranging bacterial infections, including multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Development of the new ansamycin will now be supported by a grant from Innovate UK, providing further evidence of the utility of the Demuris approach to discovery of novel drug leads. 

About Demuris – Demuris is a drug discovery company built on a world leading technology platform for natural product drug discovery.  Natural products offer complex, bioactive chemistry generating an unprecedented library of chemical diversity for drug discovery. Optimized over millions of years, natural product molecules have sophisticated mechanisms of action and intrinsic pharmacological properties important as starting points for developing therapeutics for targets previously thought to be “undruggable”.

Demuris has assembled the complete solution needed to access this opportunity including its proprietary ACCESS (Activate Cryptic Gene Clusters) technology for activating biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), combined with a uniquely diverse and well dereplicated Actinomycete strain collection.  Demuris has also developed a robust and accurate Whole Genome Sequencing and Informatics pipeline combined with synthetic biology tools for BGC redesign.  Proof of concept for our approach has been established through the identification of a novel class of transcription factor inhibitors with application in oncology, identification of novel regulators of mitochondrial function as well as discovery of several novel Ansamycins with application in a number of therapeutic areas

Company Contact:

Claire Ellis