Ithaka Life Sciences client CYP Design awarded funding for research into novel antibiotics


Following the formation of CYP Design Ltd (CYPDESIGN™) by Ithaka Life Sciences and De Montfort University (DMU), Ithaka is pleased to announce that CYPDESIGN™ has been awarded funding by the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) to help validate an automated platform for discovery of safe, effective, broad-spectrum anti-bacterial compounds.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE), as part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), has an interest in the development of antimicrobials to meet the UK’s current and future defence and security needs. Specifically, the MOD is interested in ensuring that there are broad-spectrum anti-bacterials available for the treatment of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens, including intracellular pathogens. CDE is therefore supporting innovation in drug development processes.

The CDE funding will support a collaboration between CYPDESIGN™, Inspiralis Ltd and Cyclofluidic Ltd to create and validate a platform for rapid synthesis and testing of novel compounds for anti-bacterial activity and for the absence of any safety concerns. Data from the assays will be fed back to a novel chemical optimisation algorithm which will automatically design the next compound to be made. Promising compounds will then be tested against a range of bacteria.

CYPDESIGN™ has developed processes for the production of active, stable and cost effective human cytochrome P450s (CYPs). CYPs are found in the human liver and are mostly responsible for the metabolism of drugs, including anti-bacterial compounds, in people. These proteins are commercially available and widely used by companies involved in the discovery of new drugs.

The CDE funded project will combine innovative chemistry and lead optimisation algorithms from Cyclofluidic and a novel assay for an anti-bacterial target from Inspiralis to discover compounds with promising anti-bacterial activity, which will then be tested for potential safety concerns using CYPs supplied by CYPDESIGN™.

Dr Bill Primrose (CEO) said: “We are delighted that the Centre for Defence Enterprise is supporting this collaboration between three highly innovative UK-based SMEs. A successful project will validate the drug discovery platform by generating some promising new anti-bacterial compounds ready for further safety and efficacy testing.”


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