Aug 03

Antimicrobial Development: Getting Things Started

Developing antimicrobials is a war of attrition, with an unfortunate number of potential compounds falling at one of the many hurdles along the way. I’m keen to support the process and speaking as someone who is a pre-clinical in vitro drug development specialist, the obvious way for me to help is to encourage more molecules being loaded in the front end!

LGC’s Ed Siegwart

With that in mind we have launched something I’ve named ‘Project Pillar’ (not everyone liked the name, but I insisted). It was an idea based on meeting a few biochemists at the Royal Society of Chemistry Biosynthesis V meeting in Warwick earlier this year. In the meeting it was first hammered home to me that I am not a chemist and that what the synthesis guys do is hardcore science. Secondly it dawned on me just how many of them have antimicrobial molecules, and were not 100% sure what they should be doing with them next.

As part of this we are offering clinical isolate MIC screening panels to academic institutions at a very low cost, with a view to generating a broader understanding of activity of a particular molecule before it enters the next phases of pre-clinical testing. This data will only generate a small window into the potential of a particular compound, but I hope it will provide that little extra bit of buzz required to get further funding/investment for the teams working on them. It also means that we can help nudge them in the right direction of what to do next if they happen to need that little bit of industry knowledge.

We’ve had a few nibbles of interest, and we are starting to test the first few compounds soon.

This is where you can help. If you are aware of any academics who may be interested in some low cost broad panel screening, please feel free to pass on our contact details.

I’m also hoping that being academics, they might be interested in publishing the results, so watch this space!

Thanks for reading,



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LGC Microbiology overview

Ed Siegwart will be at ASM/ESCMID Conference on Drug Development to present a poster about Project Pillar. If you would like to arrange a meeting with Ed please contact us.

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