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If we understand the interaction between the antibiotic and the target, we can design a series of new antiobiotics without drug resistance.

Current projects include:
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€85 million European project targets novel antibiotics - ENABLE project
Oxford Chemistry is pleased to announce the project, with over 30 European universities, research institutes and companies, led by GSK and Uppsala University. The 6 year project (European Gram-Negative Antibacterial Engine), is supported by IMI to develop novel antibiotics against Gram-negative pathogens. It aims to complete phase 1 clinical trials of at least one novel anti-bacterial for Gram-negative infections and includes open calls for additional candidates. More information can be found here.
Professor Chris Schofield

Most clinically used antibiotics are based upon natural products. The most important family of antibiotics contains a β-lactam ring, and includes the penicillin, cephalosporin, clavam, and carbapenem antibiotics. Recent biosynthetic work has focused on the clavams and carbapenems, with a particular focus being on the mechanism and structures of enzymes that catalyse chemically 'interesting' steps. One of the clavams, clavulanic acid, is the most important clinically used β-lactamase inhibitor and, like the penicillins and cephalosporins, is produced by fermentation. This method has limited the production of modified clavams with improved clinical properties. In contrast the carbapenems are produced by total synthesis as it has not yet been possible to develop a viable commercially fermentation route to the clinically used antibiotics. The Schofield group is interested in studying the biosynthetic pathways to the clavams and carbapenems with a view to developing routes to improved antibiotics.
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Dr Mark Moloney

The emerging resistance of many organisms to the penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics is a serious medical problem, and one which will require an ongoing commitment from academic and industrial laboratories to ensure that these drugs retain their usefulness. We are interested in the application of some of our published methodologies to the synthesis of novel antibiotic compounds which have hitherto remained unexamined. Oxazolomycin and its analogues are current synthetic targets, and will provide compounds suitable for determining details of the biological mode of action of this unusual class of compound. Lemonomycin is also a current target, since this compound has recently been shown to exhibit promising biological activity.
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