07th January 2019

Grant awarded for anti-biofilm interventions

Neem Biotech, a company focused on developing novel solutions to address antimicrobial resistance, together with the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre and Sheffield Collaboratorium for Antimicrobial Resistance and Biofilms (SCARAB), has been awarded a £50,000 inaugural National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) Proof of Concept grant. This inaugural grant has been awarded to expand the development and testing of effective anti-biofilm interventions, in this case based on the pioneering research conducted by Neem Biotech. Biofilms are formed by many bacteria as a protective mechanisms for colonies of bacteria in a range of metabolic states. In humans, biofilms protect bacteria from the human immune system and antibiotics and also exude virulence factors which allow the colonies of bacteria to invade local tissues and spread infection. Products that inhibit the spread of infection in biofilms are called quorum sensing inhibitors.

Specifically, the collaborators will expand data on the biological activity of Neem’s candidate compounds for managing bacterial infections in wounds. The research is aimed at advancing rational drug design and accelerating translation of basic research into the clinic.

“This grant will enable us to discover additional vital information on Neem’s candidate drugs that target painful local wound infection which inhibit wound healing. It will also expand our knowledge on Neem’s unique class of Quorum Sensing Inhibitors which could have great potential in a new generation of non-traditional antimicrobials.” said Graham Dixon, CEO of Neem Biotech. “This inaugural Proof of Concept initiative, made possible by the National Biofilms Innovation Centre, could accelerate access for patients to potentially ground-breaking bacterial infection management through pioneering science.”

“Wound infection remains a costly, growing and difficult condition to treat effectively. This collaboration has great potential for understanding the origins of such infections and thereby laying the foundation for improved treatment of these wounds which, if untreated, become a serious clinical problem,” noted Professor Keith Harding of the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre.

“New compounds that can inihibit quorum sensing and thus prevent or reduce biofilm formation and spread of infection have a vital role to play in our efforts to design practical strategies to overcome antimicrobial resistance. Current use of antibiotics can generate antimicrobial resistance and quorum sensing inhibitors could be a practical strategy to combine with antibiotics for some infections. Together with our colleagues at Neem Biotech and the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre, we believe we have all the elements in place to deliver success on this important quest,” said Dr Esther Karunakaran from Sheffield Collaboratorium for Antimicrobial Resistance and Biofilms.