Numerous small molecules that are obtained or created from natural microbial sources play a key role in combatting infectious diseases. The majority of antibiotics on the market, or those that are being developed, belong to this group of natural microbial substances.
The results of several different development and research procedures are to be recorded in the DZIF’s Natural Compound Library with the aim of isolating and characterising new microorganisms and fungi that hold particularly high potential for the production of new agents. These procedures include: functional genomics, systems biology, biotechnological optimisation of production processes, development of novel testing procedures and so-called bioprofiling which, amongst other things, all serve to further expand and optimise the extensive collection of chemical substances. The Natural Compound Library will be made available to the DZIF and to associated partners for screening purposes in order to drive for the creation and further development of hit compounds within individual DZIF research fields.
The library’s collection currently includes over 900 natural products and approximately 3,000 raw extracts. They mainly include metabolites produced in myxobacteria, actinobacteria and various fungi.
Besides making substance libraries available, another important focus is on the medicinal-chemical advancement of significant candidate drugs. These studies are complemented by the PK/PD Unit which acts as a platform for the pharmacological characterisation and improvement of agents in selected animal models. The PK/PD Unit is available to all DZIF projects that contribute agent candidates in late stages of optimisation.